Offensive! Tiny New York Island is No Longer Named After Female Body Part
Hopefully you haven't been in a coma the last 5 years but imagine if you were and you finally come out if it and learn the Washington Redskins are now the Washington Football Team, the Gypsy Moth is now Lymantria Dispar and one of the islands in the Finger Lakes is changing it's name. What happened?
The names and identities of these examples and many more are being changed after being deemed offensive. What is offensive about the Finger Lakes? There is a small island on Canandaigua Lake called Squaw Island. Some say "squaw" refers to a woman's body part making the island name offensive.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "squaw" is an offensive word for an Indigenous woman of North America. Syracuse.com reports that Squaw Island will now be known as Skenoh Island. “Skenoh,” translates to either health or peace.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has already made the name change official. Their website indicates that USGS approved the name change this month and that the new name Skenoh Island is supported by the Seneca Nation and the DEC. One thing that doesn't change is the designation of "New York's Smallest State Park". The only way to access the tiny island, less than a quarter acre, is by boat.
On a quick search I found a few "Squaw Islands", one of which is off the shore of Long Island. Another is located on the Susquehanna River in Owego, New York, Squaw Island Marshes on Cape Cod and Squaw Rock in Boston. No word on whether these locations will be changing their names.
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