Vail Colorado

Photo Credit: Eric Kitayama. File photo. (iStock)

The re-naming process of a Colorado River native fish was finalized by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission at its May 4 meeting, removing a racial slur from the common species name. 

The fish, formerly known as the Colorado Squawfish, is now officially called the Colorado Pikeminnow. 

"Squaw" is a word used for female genitalia in the Mohawk language and was declared a derogatory term by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in 2021. Since, there have been nationwide efforts to remove the word from landmark names, including 28 in Colorado, so far. 

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"Colorado pikeminnow were once abundant in the main stem of the Colorado River and most of its major tributaries in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. Today, two wild populations of Colorado pikeminnow are found in the Upper Colorado River Basin – one in the upper Colorado River system and one in the Green River system," CPW said. 

The Colorado pikeminnow is federally endangered and considered 'threatened' in the Centennial State, according to CPW. 

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