Squaw Creek Park Name Changed to Wanatee Park
The Linn County Conservation Board announced today they have retired the name Squaw Creek Park and have changed it to honor a Native American woman.
Wanatee Park is named in honor of Adeline Wanatee (1910-1996) known for her significant work in the Meskwaki Nation. She was also a strong supporter of women’s rights for all living in the United States.. She was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
The board said there is overwhelming evidence that the word "squaw" is an offensive slur, and thus made the decision to change the name.
“The Conservation Board supports a spirit of inclusion for everyone, and a name that is derogatory and widely accepted as a slur should no longer be validated,”
“We are strengthening efforts to apply inclusivity policies for management of our parks and other areas for future generations”
- Linn County Conservation Executive Director Dennis Goemaat
In a press release issued with the news of the name change, the board admitted "changing a county park name is under the authority of the Conservation Board, but changing a river or stream is a more involved process of federal, state, and local jurisdictions"
The board said work has already begun the process to rename the creek "Wanatee Creek". But with more local, state and federal steps to take, it is a process that can take up to a year to complete.