Quinault Indian Nation suggests new name

Leader News Staff
news@ptleader.com
Posted 8/15/22

The Washington State Committee on Geographic Names heard the first proposals from Tribes within the state to rename features bearing a derogatory term that refers to Indigenous women and approved two …

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Quinault Indian Nation suggests new name

Posted

The Washington State Committee on Geographic Names heard the first proposals from Tribes within the state to rename features bearing a derogatory term that refers to Indigenous women and approved two other proposals during its meeting last week.

The 17 proposals from Tribes come in the wake of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s orders last year to rename geographic features throughout the country that have derogatory names.

One of the proposals came from the Quinault Indian Nation.

A derogatorily named creek in Jefferson County would be renamed Noskeliikuu, meaning “the place where the whale dropped.” 

The name has been used in Quinault tribal histories for at least four generations, according to the committee.

Officials explained that after the committee approves a proposal for final consideration, it solicits comments on that proposal from local and tribal governments, and members of the public who may have an interest in a new name or a name change. 

The committee then considers the comments when deciding whether to recommend that the Board of Natural Resources approve a name proposal.

The committee is made up of a representative of the Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, a representative of the State Librarian, the director of the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, a representative of Washington state tribes, and three members of the public.

If the board approves the recommendations, the approved names are added to the Washington Administrative Code and the board passes them along to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names for federal review.

Detailed information on all initial and final proposals, including maps, historical information, and supporting documentation, can be found on the Board of Natural Resources page under the About tab on the Department of Natural Resources website. 

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