Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Lake to In-thlam-keh Lake
Flathead County, Montana

Status = Approved

Description lake, 3.4 acres, in the Flathead National Forest, 33 km (21 mi) SE of Columbia Falls, 32 km (20 mi) NE of Flathead; the name is an Anglicization of the Salish word, In-thlam-keh, for black bear
Location 48°07’48”N, 113°54’33”W
PLSS Location Sec 5, T27N, R18W
Proposal to change a name considered by some to be derogatory
Proponent Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes; Pablo, MT
Not Squaw Lake
Administrative area Flathead National Forest
Previous BGN Action None
See also
GNIS ID 791365
Local Usage None found
Published Squaw Lake (USGS 1964, 1994; SummitPost website; Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information website; Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks 2006 stocking plan; Newberry Library Inventory of the Virgil J. Vogel Research and Personal Papers)
roposal, submitted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, is to change the name of Squaw Lake to In-thlam-keh Lake. The current name applies to a 3.4 acre lake in southern Flathead County, approximately 33 km (21 mi) southeast of Columbia Falls and 32 km (20 mi) northeast of Flathead Lake in the Flathead National Forest. The origin of the current name has not been determined; the earliest map on which it has been located is the 1964 USGS topographic map. The proposed replacement name, In-thlam-keh Lake, is the Anglicization of the Salish word for black bear. The proponent adds that this lake lies in an area “important to the Pend d’Oreille people for hunting, fishing, gathering, and other purposes. In this area there are strong populations of black bears (ursus americanus).” The Flathead County Commissioners do not have any objection to the proposed change, while the Montana State Names Authority supports it. The Manager of the Northwest Montana Wetland Management District, who also manages the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge, suggests the change is “a good idea.” The proposal also has the support of the U.S. Forest Service, the Montana House Bill 412 “Squaw Name Change” Advisory Committee, and the American Indian Caucus of the Montana State Legislature.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Support (Wednesday, January 30, 2008)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, October 9, 2008
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve this change.

Vote: 10 in favor
0 against
0 abstentions

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