Cherry Meyer

Cherry Meyer, Assistant Professor holding a joint appointment in the Departments of American Culture (AC) and Linguistics, is quoted in The Detroit News in a recent article on the removal of the the word ''squaw'' from the names of 32 Michigan sites by the Interior Department.

The word ''squaw'' comes from the Wampanoag language, part of the Algonquian language family, and means "woman".   Meyer went on to say, "when a term for ‘woman’ from one Native American language is used to refer to a woman of any Native American culture, it furthers the stereotype that Native Americans are all one homogenous group — that we all speak the same language, have the same culture and the same history."

She said that this effort to rename these places and remove what has come to be a derogatory word is extremely worthwhile. "Having those constant visual or oral reminders of stereotypes, such as park names, negatively affects the group being stereotyped. That much seems obvious," Meyer said. "But they also reinforce that stereotyping behavior in the general population."

Read the article: The Detroit News 
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