Montana Geographic Names Advisor

Geographic Name Change Request

Change Squaw Teat to Aspen Hill
Meagher County, Montana

Status = Denied

Description pillar, elevation 2,079 m (6,821 ft), located 16 km (10 mi) SSE of Adel, 63 km (39 mi) N of Townsend and Canyon Ferry Dam, 69 km (43 mi) SW of Great Falls; the name reflects the existence of aspen trees in the area
Location 46°53’56”N, 111°31’43”W
PLSS Location Secs 6&7, T13N, R2E Meridian
Proposal to change a name considered by some to be derogatory
Proponent Meagher County Commission
Not Squaw Teat
Administrative area None
Previous BGN Action None
See also 39610
GNIS ID 791398
Local Usage None found
Published Squaw Teat (USGS 1962, 1991; SummitPost website)
The name Squaw Teat applies currently to a 2,079 m (6,821 ft) pillar located 16 km (10 mi) southsoutheast of Adel in northwest Meagher County. The origin of the pillar’s current name has not been determined; the earliest map on which the name appears is the USGS topographic map published in 1962. The first proposal, to change the name to Mil-mil-teh Hill, was submitted by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; the name is the Anglicization of the Salish and Pend d’Oreille word meaning quaking aspen tree.

Although the Montana House Bill 412 “Squaw Name Change” Advisory Committee and the American Indian Caucus of the Montana State Legislature support the change to Mil-mil-teh Hill, the Meagher County Commissioners do not, believing the Salish name would be too difficult to pronounce and remember. The County submitted the counter-proposal for Aspen Hill. The Montana State Names Authority recommends approval of Mil-mil-teh Hill. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the Chair of the House Bill 412 Committee have been advised of the counter-proposal, but declined to offer any further comment.

Montana Geographic Names Advisor Recommendation - Oppose (Thursday, February 21, 2008)
Domestic Names Committee Decision Date - Thursday, May 8, 2008
Domestic Names Committee Discussion - A motion was made and seconded to approve the change to Mil-mil-teh Hill.

Vote: 11 in favor
1 against
0 abstentions

The one dissenting vote cited the County’s lack of support for the indigenous name.

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