'Squaw' erased from all Maine public place names

September 8, 2011 - 3:30 PM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The word "squaw" has finally disappears from the names of all public places in Maine 11 years after a state law aimed to wipe off maps a word deemed offensive by some Native Americans.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has approved name changes for a half-dozen locations that still contained a variation of the word "squaw," which most Indians in Maine say is offensive and translates to prostitute or whore.

State Rep. Wayne Mitchell of the Penobscot tribe says it's unfortunate it took so long, but it's good the task has been completed.

The law doesn't apply to privately owned Big Squaw Mountain Resort near Greenville. Owner James Confalone said he's not changing the name, and insists the word pays tribute to Native Americans.