A chance to give your views on changing geographic names in South Dakota is coming to Sioux Falls.  The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names is holding its board meeting on Thursday, October 24, at 7 p.m. at the Sioux Falls Library Main Office, 200 N. Dakota Ave. (Meeting Room A).

The purpose of the meeting is to seek additional public comment on whether the word “Negro” is offensive in names of geographic features.  Also the board will be discussing a proposed name for Squaw Creek in Moody County.

Chairman of the Board is J.R. LaPlante who is the Secretary of the Department of Tribal Relations.  The meeting agenda will be posted on the board’s website (http://www.sdbgn.sd.gov/) by October 21 and also at the Sioux Falls Library Main Office at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.

The current legislation directs the SDBGN to rename any features with the word “Negro” in the name.  A number of comments from the public have been received stating that the individuals and organization representatives do not find the word offensive. Based on those public comments, SDBGN is seeking additional input from the public regarding the use of the word “Negro” as a part of a name for geographic features in the state.  Written comments will be taken if concerned citizens are unable to physically attend the meeting.

This will be the final hearing on the issue as  the SDBGN will decide at this meeting whether the features that currently have “Negro” in their name are to be renamed or whether the issue needs to be brought to the South Dakota Legislature for further consideration.