Ames City Council moved to recommend Ioway Creek as the replacement name of Squaw Creek.
"The term has become to be seen as an insult only over the past forty or fifty years,” Sebastian Braun, associate professor in world languages and culture and the director of American Indian Studies said in an email. “ I am sure it was not meant as such when the creek was named, and most people using the name do not mean it as an insult [...] I think any name can be honoring and respectful, but more important than the name is the inclusion and continued good relations between people.”
Braun proposed two names: Ioway or Sauk, as they pertain to Native American tribes that lived in this geographic area. The name Ioway comes from the tribe that lived in the geographic area in the 1800s, according to the email Braun sent, while the Sauk and the Meskwaki followed after.
“The Ioway, once a very strong nation, had suffered from epidemics and wars, and the Sauk and Meskwaki pushed them to the southwest, into northwestern Missouri,” Braun said in an email. “They then sold central Iowa to the United States in the treaty of 1842. Those, then, are the three tribes most appropriate to lend a name to anything in central Iowa. Before the Ioway became their own nation, they were part of a prehistoric culture in this area usually called the Oneota — the Ioway, the Oto, the Missouria, the Omaha and the Winnebago or HoChunk all are thought to have descended from these Oneota people, although we do not know what they called themselves if anything.”
Story County Supervisor Linda Murken was also involved in the search and reached out to the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors. Murken said she reached out to sixty tribal historic preservation officers in the state archeological office and twenty of them replied in favor of renaming the creek.
The Council unanimously voted to recommend the name "Ioway" to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which is responsible for standardizing geographic names for use by the federal government as well as accepting and processing proposals to name unnamed geographic features or to change existing names.
In addition to this vote, the Council took steps forward for the Ames Plan 2040.
“What we’re looking for as a team for the Council is to understand, geographically, where you’re going,” said Kelly Diekmann, the Planning and Housing Director for the city of Ames. “[...] So what we’ll do with direction tonight or direction in the future, is which geography or which direction you’re interested in — if it’s broken into tiers or is it all in one — what we’re going to do with that direction is go back to our planning assumptions.”
The plan currently considers ways to accommodate 15,000 additional residents, as well as the increase in employment.
Ames Plan 2040 includes multiple phases of public participation on issues related to new development, growth and sustaining the Ames community. The Ames 2040 plan will include identifying community interests and priorities regarding growth over the next 20 years.
In the spring, a complete draft of Ames Plan 2040 will be up for public review. More information can be found on the city of Ames website.