PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names is beginning a new chapter after completing its initial mission of removing the word “squaw” from the names of features in the state. The board was established in 2009 to correct offensive nomenclature including “squaw” and “negro.” African-American leaders have advocated keeping “negro” in place names, saying it’s not offensive and preserves the legacy of black South Dakotans. The Legislature approved the board’s final changes to offensive place names earlier this year. Now the board is taking proposals on name changes and unnamed geographic features. Board members met Thursday to discuss new procedures. They have state funding for the first time to cover travel expenses. In June they will take public testimony on names for an unnamed Minnehaha County creek and island.
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