© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oregon State professor explores place names that really are not neutral

jx draw - 2022-04-20T084703.101.jpg
Native Americans resist settler colonial place names in national parks in 1915 and 2018.

What's in a name? A lot, especially if a particular place had a name, and another one was slapped on top of it.

Case in point: Denali in Alaska, the tallest mountain in North America. President William McKinley never saw it or any other part of Alaska, yet his last name was the official one until a few years ago.

Oregon State University associate professor Natchee Barnd studies place names, and recently published a paper showing that many of them are not neutral, but derogatory or otherwise dismissive of indigenous people who inhabited those places for thousands of years.

The paper is published in "People and Nature," and the author sits for a talk about the findings.

Stay Connected
The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.