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Federal government renames Minnesota lake to Manidoons Zaaga'igan Zhaawanong

History Of Native American Boarding Schools In Minnesota 03:08

MINNEAPOLIS -- The federal government recently renamed hundreds of lakes, streams, summits and other places to remove an offensive term for Indigenous women.

The new name for the lake formerly known as Sq--- Lake, which is located in Pine County, is Manidoons Zaaga'igan Zhaawanong.

It's one of the nearly 650 changes that have been made by the government in order to avoid the use of the slur. Among the states with the most instances include California, which had 80 name changes, and Arizona, which had 66.

Wisconsin had 28 instances of names being changed, the closest of which is the lake now known as Apple Lake in St. Croix County.

"I feel a deep obligation to use my platform to ensure that our public lands and waters are accessible and welcoming. That starts with removing racist and derogatory names that have graced federal locations for far too long," Secretary Deb Haaland said. "I am grateful to the members of the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force and the Board on Geographic Names for their efforts to prioritize this important work. Together, we are showing why representation matters and charting a path for an inclusive America."

The name changes come from the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force, which included representatives from the Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, National Park Service, Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service.

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