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President Obama Spends Night at 'Squaw' Hotel

President Obama Spends Night at 'Squaw' Hotel

President Barack Obama traveled west Wednesday and passed the evening in a hotel with a denigrating word in its title, according to reports.

Obama stayed at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. The controversial word, 'squaw,' is an Eastern Algonquin derivative of the word 'shunksqaw' or 'woman' in English.The early American usage of the word 'squaw' came to signify the part of the woman European settlers desired during negotiations.

Diné activist Amanda Blackhorse told ICTMN that the word is "terribly offensive."

"Native people have to live with [this kind of language] every single day," she said. "Let's talk about this [word] now that a well-known person is staying there."

Blackhorse added she is disappointed by Obama's sojourn at the hotel considering last month he sat and spoke with sundry Native American leaders at the annual Tribal Nations Conference.

"And then you go and stay in a place like that," she said. "To me, that’s just trying to turn the other cheek."

Cecelia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, told azcentral.com that the she hopes the Hilton corporation will consider changing the name.

"It's my understanding is that its a hotel that meets the security needs of housing the president," she said. "If what you're telling me about the name of the hotel is true then that is quite an unfortunate name and I would hope that [it] would be something that the hotel would consider changing."

Columnist Laurie Roberts of azcentral.com wrote that 12 years ago, then-Gov. Janet Napolitano called for and eventually realized the rebranding of nearby Squaw Peak and replacing it with the name of a fallen Hopi soldier. "Squaw Peak is now Piestewa Peak, named for Lori Piestewa, who died in Iraq in 2003, making her the first Native American woman to die in combat in the U.S. military," Roberts wrote.

Obama was in Phoenix to speak at a high school there on Thursday.