Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Butte to Brindle Calf Woman Butte
Hill County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description summit, 1,183 m (3,881 ft), located 13 km (8 mi) SE of Saddle Butte, 10 km (6.5 mi) NE of Mount Reynolds
Location 48°24’37”N, 109°33’30”W
PLSS Location Sec. 32, T31N, R17E
Proposal to change a name considered by some to be derogatory
Proponent Fort Belknap Community Council
Not Squaw Butte
Administrative area None
Previous BGN Action None
See also
GNIS ID 791367
Local Usage None found
Published Squaw Butte (USGS, 1959, 1984, 1993)
his is one of several proposals submitted by the Montana House Bill 412 “Squaw Name Change” Committee, in an effort to remove “Squaw” names from the State. The name Squaw Butte applies currently to a 1,183 m (3,881 ft) high summit in Hill County, 13 km (8 mi) southeast of Saddle Butte and 48 km (30 mi) from the western edge of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. The proposed name, Brindle Calf Woman Butte, was suggested by the Fort Belknap Community Council and is intended to recognize the Indian name for Melvina Horn, the last Assiniboine Medicine Woman. This proposal also has the support of the American Indian Caucus and the Montana Democratic Women’s Legislative Caucus of the Montana State Legislature.

A decision on this proposal was deferred by the DNC in July 2010, pending a desire for more biographical information on the intended honoree, specifically a confirmation that she had been deceased at least five years. The Montana State Names Authority (MY SNA) was unable to locate any specific information, nor did the Fort Belknap Community Council provide any details, but through communication with three county clerks and the State vital records office, the MT SNA determined that there were two women named Melvina Horn, one who lived 1912 to 1969 and the other from 1881 to 1977. It is presumed the intended honoree was one of these two individuals.

The Hill County Commissioners have no objection to the proposed change to Brindle Calf Woman Butte. The Montana State Names Authority forwarded the proposal to the Montana Water Resources Division, the Montana Trust Lands Division, and the Indian Country Economic Development Program of the Montana Department of Commerce. These offices are in support of the change. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and the Montana State Historic Preservation Office responded that they are not opposed.

A copy of the proposal was forwarded to the following federally recognized Indian tribes: the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana and the Chippewa- Cree Indians of the Rocky Boy's Reservation. In July 2009 the BGN staff received a telephone call from the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe, expressing an objection to the change and stating that there is already a Cree name for the feature. He indicated a counter-proposal would be forthcoming. After receiving no further communication, the BGN staff asked the Montana House Bill 412 Committee and the Montana State Names Authority to follow up. It was agreed that a letter should be sent to the Chippewa-Cree Tribe, asking whether the BGN might expect another proposal, but that if no response was received, the BGN would proceed with its vote on the existing proposal. The Chippewa-Cree Tribe has not responded. The Montana State Names Authority recommends approval of Brindle Calf Woman Butte. No response was received from the Blackfeet Tribe, which is presumed to indicate a lack of an opinion on this issue.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Friday, January 15, 2010)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, October 7, 2010
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve this name change. The Montana State Names Authority was asked if he had anything to add, but he declined.
Vote: 9 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

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