Reconciliation in Place Names Committee

On November 19, 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland signed Secretary’s Order No. 3405 (Addressing Derogatory Place Names), which directed the National Park Service to establish a new Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names on behalf of the Department of the Interior.

On August 9, 2022, Secretary Haaland announced the members of the Advisory Committee.

Committee Purpose

The committee’s purpose is to identify existing federal land unit names and geographic feature names that may be considered derogatory and recommend potential replacement names to the Secretary of the Interior. The committee will also develop for the Secretary’s consideration a forward-looking process to solicit, encourage, and assist proposals to change derogatory geographic names. The committee will engage with Tribes, the Native Hawaiian Community, state and local governments, and the public.

The committee is managed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The committee’s charter, which outlines its duties, management structure, and membership requirements, is found here.

Committee Meetings

Committee meetings are open to the public and are announced in the Federal Register at least 15 calendar days in advance. Meeting notices published in the Federal Register provide detailed instructions on how to request to attend meetings and how to provide public comment.

Meeting materials will be made available on the FACA Database and on this page below.

Upcoming Meetings

June 10 and 11, 2024
Note: Written public comment may be submitted to reconciliation_committee@nps.gov

Education and Outreach Subcommittee

Federal Land Unit Names Subcommittee


Geographic Features Subcommittee

Processes and Principles Subcommittee

Written Public Comment
Keys School
Lea Gifford

Past Meetings

November 14, 15, and 16, 2023

Federal Land Unit Names Subcommittee
Working List of Federal Land Unit Names

Geographic Features Subcommittee
Proposal to Full Committee
List of Geographic Feature Names

Processes and Principles Subcommittee
Place Name Reconciliation Principles
Working Document on Derogatory Place Names

Written Public Comment
Coalition for Outdoor Renaming and Education
Coalition for Outdoor Renaming and Education
Place Justice
Junior North American Indians Women's Association
Ida Yellowman
Knoxville Montessori School
Lakota People's Law Project

June 14 and 15, 2023

Federal Land Unit Names Subcommittee
Bureau of Land Management Units (2022)
Bureau of Reclamation Land Management Units (2022)
Fish and Wildlife Service Land Unit Names (2022)
National Park Service Land Unit Names (2022)
U.S. Forest Service Land Unit Names (2022)

Geographic Features Subcommittee
Geographic Names Information System (nationalmap.gov) - user information for searching GNIS

Processes and Principles Subcommittee
Working Definition of Derogatory (Draft)

Written Public Comment
Anonymous
National Congress of American Indians Youth Commission
Native American Rights Fund
Native Organizers Alliance
The Wilderness Society

December 7 and 8, 2022

Committee Membership

The Advisory Committee on Reconciliation in Place Names is composed of up to 17 members appointed by the Secretary who represent Tribes and Tribal organizations, Native Hawaiian organizations, the general public, or have expertise in fields including civil rights, history, geography, and anthropology:

Derek Alderman – Professor of Geography, University of Tennessee
Angelo Baca – Assistant Professor, Department of History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences, Rhode Island School of Design (Diné/Hopi)
Kiana Carlson – J.D. candidate, Mitchell Hamline School of Law (Ahtna Kohtaene, Taltsiine; Native Village of Cantwell, Alaska)
Julie Dye Board Member, Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians)
Michael Catches Enemy – Tribal Archaeologist, Oglala Sioux Tribe Fifth Member’s Office (Oglala Sioux)
Donald Lee Fixico – Professor of History and Indian Studies, Arizona State University (Sac & Fox, Shawnee, Mvskoke, Seminole)
Christine Karpchuk-Johnson – Lecturer, Departments of Anthropology and Geography, University of Nevada Reno
Niniaukapealiʻi Kawaihae – Special Assistant, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
Jason MacCannell – Special Assistant to the Director, California Department of Parks and Recreation
Kamanaʻolana Mills – Senior Supervising Project Manager, Sustainable Industry Development, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiʻi
Lauren Monroe Jr. – Secretary, Blackfeet Tribal Business Council (Blackfeet Nation, Pikuni)
Federico Mosqueda Coordinator of the Arapaho Language and Culture Program (Arapaho)
Rachel Pereira Vice President of Equity and Inclusion, St. John's University
Kimberly Probolus-Cedroni – Historian, Washington, DC
Howard Dale Valandra – Member, Tribal Land Enterprise Board of Directors (Rosebud Sioux Tribe)
Aimee Villarreal Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University
Elva Yanez Senior Advisor for Parks, Land Use, and the Built Environment at the Prevention Institute

The Committee also includes four ex officio members from the Federal Government:

Charles Bowery, Executive Director, U.S. Army Center of Military History, Department of Defense
Meryl Harrell, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Lynn Trujillo, Senior Counselor to the Secretary, Department of the Interior
Zachary Penney, Senior Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce

For More Information

For additional information about the Committee, please contact:
Alma Ripps
Office of Policy, National Park Service
(202) 354-3950
e-mail us

Last updated: May 17, 2024