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Iowa park renamed to honor activist

The new name honors Jean Adeline Morgan Wanatee, who was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.
Credit: Linn County Conservation/Facebook

MARION, Iowa — An Iowa park will be renamed to honor a Keskwaki activist, removing a derogatory term that has long been part of the park’s name. 

The Linn County Conservation Board on Monday said the name of Squaw Creek Park will change to Wanatee Park. The park in Marion was originally named in 1964. 

The conservation board says in a news release that because the word “squaw” is offensive, it decided to remove its use in public buildings and spaces. The new name honors Jean Adeline Morgan Wanatee, who died in 1996. 

She was was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. 

“The Meskwaki Nation applauds your willingness to make changes that honor people through the use of their name, and not diminish them as human beings through the use of derogatory terms. Especially, we thank all who have championed this name change to honor one of our own," Judith Bender, chairwoman of the tribe, wrote, according to a statement released by Linn County officials.

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