Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Squaw Humper Dam: SD Board tackles another racist symbol

The South Dakota Board of Geographic Names spent most of their time Monday on the proposal to change the name of Squaw Humper Dam in Oglala Lakota County. The proposed name is Tahc’a Okute Mni Onaktake, which, according to Lakota and internet sources, translates roughly as “blocking water at a place for shooting deer.” No action was planned for the re-designation of a Black Hills peak named for a war criminal; but, a federal board could render a decision on renaming that promontory as early as this week or as late as June.

The word 'squaw' is derived from Algonquin and Inyan Kara Peak in the Wyoming Black Hills is the bastardization of American Indian words; but, humper is simply wasicu for any man engaged in the act of copulation.

With the Oglala Lakota Nation as an interested party Chief Arvol Looking Horse has submitted a request to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names saying the words “Devils Tower” are a malapropism.

During the 2016 session South Dakota's Republican legislature voted to usurp the local control of the SD Board in favor of federal command over geographical names.

It's time for the State of South Dakota to abandon Bear Butte State Park that it claimed through colonization and remand it to the tribes for governance so they can restore its name to Mato Paha and for the US Park Service to add the name Mahto Tipila to Devils Tower National Monument.


  1. Squaw Humper dam is named after Squaw Humper Table...not far from Nigger Wool Ridge in Hot Springs...tactful lot, those pioneers.

    1. Indeed. Annie Tallent would be right in the thick of that mess.


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