City Council

Ames City Council conducting business on Jan. 14. 

The Ames City Council will be deciding on a new name for Squaw Creek.

The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers at Ames City Hall. 

A letter was sent from the U.S. Board on Geographic Names in November, which included a request made by an Ames resident. 

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names 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. 

According to the letter, Squaw Creek has an offensive connotation, and individuals of Native American descent have protested the name since the 1990s. The letter also stated since Story County has the highest population through which the stream flows, the creek should be renamed to “Story Creek." 

The Council voted in November to respond to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, as the 1st Ward representative Gloria Betcher and ex-officio Devyn Leeson were absent from the meeting and requested a deadline be provided for the Council to bring forth alternatives.

Ames Mayor John Haila and Story County supervisor Linda Murken worked with Sebastian Braun, associate professor in world languages and culture and the director of American Indian Studies. 

Braun proposed two names: Ioway or Sauk, as they pertain to Native American tribes that lived in this geographic area.

In addition to making a decision about the name change, Ames City Council will make decisions focusing on growth and development within Ames Plan 2040. 

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. The plan will consider how to accommodate 15,000 additional residents, as well as the increase in employment. 

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. 

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