Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Gulch to Sin-pul-stu-weh Gulch
Powell County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description valley, 3.9 km (2.4 mi) long, heads 12 km (8 mi) WSW of Garrison, 87 km (55 mi) SE of Missoula at 46o29’11”N, 112o26’09”W, trends SE to NW to join Pioneer Gulch; the word Sinpul- stu-weh is the Anglicization of the Salish word for battleground
Location 46°30’40”N, 112°57’54”
PLSS Location Secs 27,26,34,&35, T9N, R11W
Proposal to change a name considered by some to be derogatory
Proponent Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes; Pablo, MT
Not Squaw Gulch
Administrative area None
Previous BGN Action None
See also
GNIS ID 791382
Local Usage None found
Published Squaw Gulch (USGS 1967, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1999; SummitPost website)
me Squaw Gulch applies to a 3.9 km (2.4 mi) long valley in southwestern Powell County, just outside the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The origin of the valley’s current name has not been determined; the earliest map on which the name has been located is the USGS topographic map published in 1967. The proposed replacement name, Sinpul-stu-weh Gulch, is the Anglicization of the Salish word for battleground and literally means “Place where people kill each other.” This proposed change has the support of the Montana House Bill 412 “Squaw Name Change” Advisory Committee and the American Indian Caucus of the Montana State Legislature. The Powell County Commissioners do not endorse the change; this information was provided by the State Names Authority, but no details were included. The State Names Authority supports the proposal.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Tuesday, December 9, 2008)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, December 11, 2008
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve these three name changes.

Vote: 12 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

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