LOS ANGELES — As white settlers made their way west, so did the word “squaw.”
Eventually, it took root in nearly 100 California place names, possibly more – Squaw Creek, Squaw Peak, Squaw Hollow, Squaw Flat.
For a historic ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics and was once known as Squaw Valley, the reckoning came last year. Visitors are now greeted by signs welcoming them to Palisades Tahoe.
In another Squaw Valley – a landscape of rolling hills about halfway between Fresno and Kings Canyon National Park – the debate over whether to adopt a new name has pitted Native American activists against a white county supervisor.
At the heart of the battle is what “squaw” means and who decides whether it’s offensive.
Roman Rain Tree, a member of the Dunlap Band of Mono Indians, is leading a campaign to change the…