AWE (A Woman’s Experience)


Hannah Dixon


Sq*w Peak, Native American Culture, cultural perceptions


In light of the rise in public social activism and language justice in recent years, concerns about the name of Squ*w Peak, a mountain point near Provo, Utah, have surfaced due to “squaw” being an offensive term for Native American women. Looking at the effects of the peak’s current name on Native women, as well as its effects on non-Native perceptions of Native women and cultures, shows the potential implications of a name change for the peak. This paper draws on a review of the term’s linguistic associations, studies on potential psychological effects of microaggressions, and research on other effects of the way Native American culture is represented to make a case that ending the use of the term “squaw” in place names could mean positive changes for both Native women’s mental health and non-Native perceptions of Native culture.