Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland establishes Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names

The committee is tasked with eliminating derogatory terms used in geographic and place names
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland(U.S. House Office of Photography / U.S. Department of the Interior)
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 4:23 PM MDT
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NATIONWIDE (KKCO) - Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the members of the Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names, a federal advisory group meant to identify and change derogatory terms still in use for places throughout the county on Tuesday, following the issue of Secretary’s Order 3405.

Order 3405 was issued last November, and proposed the creation of the committee.

The Department of the Interior stated in a release that the committee will be developing a system to solicit and assist with proposals sent to Secretary Haaland as well as engaging with tribal authorities, the native Hawaiian community, state and local governments, and the public.

“Our nation’s lands and waters should be places to celebrate the outdoors and our shared cultural heritage – not to perpetuate the legacies of oppression,” said Secretary Haaland. “The Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names will accelerate an important process to reconcile derogatory place names. I look forward to listening and learning from this esteemed group.”

The release also states that the committee has members from a wide spread of backgrounds, including tribal representatives, experts in civil rights in fields including civil rights, history, geography, and anthropology, and the general public.

Members will be meeting for the first time in the next few months

The committee members are as follows:

  • Derek Alderman – Professor of Geography, University of Tennessee
  • Angelo Baca – Assistant Professor, Department of History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences, Rhode Island School of Design (Diné/Hopi)
  • Kiana Carlson – J.D. candidate, Mitchell Hamline School of Law (Ahtna Kohtaene, Taltsiine; Native Village of Cantwell, Alaska)
  • Julie Dye – Board Member, Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians)
  • Michael Catches Enemy – Tribal Archaeologist, Oglala Sioux Tribe Fifth Member’s Office (Oglala Sioux)
  • Donald Lee Fixico – Professor of History and Indian Studies, Arizona State University (Sac & Fox, Shawnee, Mvskoke, Seminole)
  • Christine Karpchuk-Johnson – Lecturer, Departments of Anthropology and Geography, University of Nevada Reno
  • Niniaukapealiʻi Kawaihae – Special Assistant, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
  • Jason MacCannell – Special Assistant to the Director, California Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Kamanaʻolana Mills – Senior Supervising Project Manager, Sustainable Industry Development, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiʻi
  • Lauren Monroe Jr. – Secretary, Blackfeet Tribal Business Council (Blackfeet Nation, Pikuni)
  • Federico Mosqueda – Coordinator of the Arapaho Language and Culture Program (Arapaho)
  • Rachel Pereira – Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at St. John’s University
  • Kimberly Probolus-Cedroni – Historian, Washington D.C
  • Howard Dale Valandra – Member, Tribal Land Enterprise Board of Directors (Rosebud Sioux Tribe)
  • Aimee Villarreal – Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University
  • Elva Yanez – Senior Advisor for Parks, Land Use, and the Built Environment at the Prevention Institute

The committee also includes four former members of the federal government:

  • Charles Bowery, Executive Director, U.S. Army Center of Military History, Department of Defense
  • Meryl Harrell, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Elizabeth (Liz) Klein, Senior Counselor to the Secretary, Department of the Interior
  • Letise LaFeir, Senior Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce

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