Saturday, May 18, 2024

Geographic name changes include Okanogan County site


PATEROS – The Washington State Committee on Geographic Names approved five names - including one in Okanogan county and one on Chelan County – among new names submitted by tribes for three places that previously bore a term derogatory to Native American women.

The five names include a name for a reopened Puget Sound passage in Jefferson County, an official name for a ditch in Thurston County, and proposals from tribes for new names for a ridge in Okanogan County and lakes in Kittitas and Chelan counties. After their approval, the proposals will be presented to the Board of Natural Resources for adoption.

Okanogan County

The two-mile-long ridge about eight miles west of Pateros would be named Swaram Creek Ridge after the creek that runs below it. The creek previously bore the same derogatory name, but the Board of Natural Resources approved the change of its name in 2018.

The name was proposed by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT), coming from a Methow tribal elder. Staff will also submit the name Mokheil, a traditional name for this landform proposed by the CCT and Bands of the Yakama Nation, to the federal geographic naming database as an alternate name for the ridge.

Chelan County

The five-acre lake west of Lake Wenatchee would be named Masawii Lake, a name proposed by a Wenatchi elder and submitted by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.



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