HELENA — Leaders of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians say the time has come to remove the words "halfbreed" and "breed" from the names of creeks, lakes and other places around the state.
Nicholas Vrooman, who works with the tribe, presented a bill draft to that effect during a recent meeting with the State-Tribal Relations Committee. He says the words are racist terms that demean American Indians.
The bill would require state and other agencies to identify places with the terms and remove them from maps and signs when age or vandalism calls for an update. It would also create an advisory group to determine replacement names.
Vrooman says 17 places in Montana have the word "halfbreed" or "breed" in the name, including the Halfbreed Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
The bill comes as the Washington Redskins continue to face a barrage of criticism for having a name that is seen as offensive to Native Americans.