Placer County removes the name Squaw from all county-maintained roads

Published Feb. 24, 2022

The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to rename the three county-maintained roads that contained the word “Squaw” to alternative names. 

Squaw Valley Road was renamed Olympic Valley Road, Squaw Peak Road was renamed Shirley Canyon Road, and Squaw Peak Way was renamed Marmot Way.

The Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California has been in continued discussions with Placer County staff to rename county assets, which were advanced following the announcement by Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort of their name change to Palisades Tahoe in September 2021. In November 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland declared the word “squaw” a derogatory term and ordered the removal of this term from federal lands.

In December 2021, Placer County conducted a community survey to seek feedback on the name changes as well as name alternatives. Close to 700 community members responded to the survey with the majority supporting new names. County staff also sought input from community members at three eastern Placer County town halls over the past four months.

During the renaming process, the county also alerted property owners who would be affected by the changes and coordinated with local first responders and service providers to be prepared for a potential name change.

A second phase of the road renaming process will bring forward recommended road name changes for three private roads in the county.

The process to rename the county’s Squaw Valley Park is ongoing and a recommendation for a new name will be brought to the Board of Supervisors in the future.

The Placer County road naming policy allows the county to rename a road when it is deemed in the public interest to do so. It also states that inappropriate or offensive names will not be permitted.

Residents can learn more about the renaming process here