Lindeen Statement On Little Shell Call To Change Montana Place Names

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State’s insurance chief voted for similar effort in 1999

HELENA, Mont. – Monica J. Lindeen, Montana’s commissioner of securities and insurance, today released the following statement in support of an effort by Montana’s Little Shell Tribe of the Chippewa Indians to phase out use of the words “halfbreed” and “breed” as place names in Montana.

“The map of Montana contains the most beautiful places on Earth. Unfortunately, it also contains words none of us would ever use, words we are embarrassed to speak. Montanans have already chosen to stop using these words in our spoken language; it’s time we take them off our maps, too.”

As a state representative from southeast Montana, Lindeen in 1999 voted to remove the word “squaw” from place names in Montana, an effort that passed with broad, bipartisan support.

Leaders from Montana’s Little Shell Tribe recently presented a request to the Montana State-Tribe Relations Legislative Committee asking for place names containing the words “halfbreed” or “breed” to be removed from signs, maps and markers when such signs must be replaced.