Indigenous activists want to change a California town’s racist name. Officials are pushing back

Roman Rain Tree has tried to convince local officials to do away with a name that ‘memorializes sexualized and genocidal acts’

In September, the popular Lake Tahoe ski resort Squaw Valley announced it would change its name, recognizing that the term was “derogatory and offensive”. It became official with a press release and a new sign.

But that’s not the end of the name in California. Hundreds of miles south in Fresno county, near Kings Canyon national park, there is another Squaw Valley. The central California town of about 3,500 people dates back to the 19th century, and is one of nearly 100 places in California to use the controversial term in its name.

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