Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Creek to Kills At Night Creek
Blaine County and Phillips County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description stream, 17 miles long, Heads 0.5 miles south of Eagle Child Mountain at 47°55’18”N, 108°41’05”W, flows generally west then southwest to enter Cow Creek
Location 47°51’17”N, 108°57’11”W
PLSS Location Townships 24-25N, Ranges 22-23E
Proposal to change a name believed to be offensive and to apply a new commemorative name
Proponent Fort Belknap Community Council
Not Squaw Creek
Administrative area Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (Bureau of Land Management)
Previous BGN Action None
See also 41901
GNIS ID 777127
Local Usage None Found
Published Squaw Creek (USGS 1954, 1971, 2011)
This proposal is to change the name of Squaw Creek, a 17-mile-long tributary of Cow Creek in Blaine County and Phillips County, to Kills At Night Creek.  The downstream portion of the stream flows through the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, which is administered by the Bureau of Land Management.   The existing name has appeared on USGS topographic maps since 1954; the origin of the name has not been determined.  The proposed replacement name was submitted by the Montana House Bill 412 “Squaw Name Change” Committee on behalf of the Fort Belknap Community Council, which believes the existing name is offensive.

The new name is intended to honor Theresa Elizabeth (Chandler) White Weasel Walker “Kills At Night” Lamebull (1896-2007), who at the time of her death was the oldest living member of the Gros Ventre Tribe.  One online biography states, “Lamebull was a fluent speaker of the Gros Ventre language, spoken by only a handful of other people.  She taught the language at Fort Belknap College, and helped develop a dictionary when she was 109.”  The Hays Education Resource Center on the Fort Belknap Reservation was named the Kills At Night Center in her honor.  She was survived by five children, 32 grandchildren, 78 great-grandchildren, and 62 great-great-grandchildren.  This proposal was originally submitted in 2008 but could not be accepted by the BGN at the time because of the required five-year waiting period for commemorative names.

The Kills At Night Creek proposal has been endorsed by the HB412 Advisory Committee, the Blaine County commissioners, and four local residents. The State Names Advisor endorses the Kills At Night Creek proposal because state law MCA 2-15-149 requires state agencies to use the names selected by the HB 412 Advisory Committee.

A counterproposal has been submitted to change the name to Williams Creek. The Williams Creek proposal has been endorsed by the Phillips County commissioners and a petition signed by 32 local residents.

Comments Received by the Montana Geographic Names Advisor
Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Friday, February 13, 2015)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, September 10, 2015
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve the proposal for Kills At Night Creek.

13 in favor
2 against
0 abstentions

The negative votes were cast in support of Phillips County’s endorsement of the Williams Creek proposal.

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