Offensive! Tiny NY Island Was Once Named After Female Body Part?
Hopefully you haven't been in a coma the last 6 years but imagine if you were and you finally come out if it and learn the Washington Redskins are now the Washington Commanders, the Gypsy Moth is now Lymantria Dispar and one of the islands in the Finger Lakes has changed it's name. What has happened?
The names and identities of these examples and many more are being changed after being deemed offensive. What is offensive about the Finger Lakes? There is a small island on Canandaigua Lake that, as recently as a year ago, was called Squaw Island. Not anymore.
Some say "squaw" refers to a woman's body part and Merriam-Webster Dictionary considers 'squaw' to be dated and disparaging. According to Rochester First, Squaw Island is now called Skenoh Island. “Skenoh,” translates to either health or peace.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation made the name change official. Their website indicates that USGS approved the name change and that the new name Skenoh Island is supported by the Seneca Nation and the DEC.
The next dispute might be over the designation as New York's smallest State park. This island holds the title in many sources, State Park at the Great New York State Fair also claims to be the states smallest.
On a quick search I found a few "Squaw Islands", one of which is off the shore of Long Island. Another is located on the Susquehanna River in Owego, New York, Squaw Island Marshes on Cape Cod and Squaw Rock in Boston. No word on whether these locations will be changing their names.