Greenville, ME, Mar. 23--Despite the Maine Legislature's recent decision to ban the word "squaw" from all state place names, the owner of Big Squaw Mountain Resort says he has no plans to follow the state's example. In fact, resort owner James Confalone said earlier this week he felt the state lawmakers were "ambushed by a small group of Indians." Private properties are exempt from the state ban.
According to the Associated Press, Confalone has said he would change thename of his ski resort only if all Maine residents had a chance to vote onthe issue. Confalone has also said that he considers the word a term ofendearment and that he calls his wife "Big Squaw" and his daughter "LittleSquaw." But American Indians who lobbied Maine's legislators argued theword is offensive and can be construed as meaning "whore." Webster'sCollegiate Dictionary states that the word amounts to "disparaging andoffensive slang." The question that remains is, will Down-East sensitivityreach into California's Sierra?