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McKenzie County oil field name change approved by the state Industrial Commission

North Dakota’s Industrial Commission has approved a name change for a McKenzie County oil field.

It was called the Squaw Creek Field.

State mineral resources director Lynn Helms said in November, 2021, the Secretary of the Interior issues an order declaring the word "squaw" as derogatory.

"On September 8, 2022, Interior announced, through its Board of Geographic Names, a change to that name," Helms said.

It was renamed Sakakawea Creek.

Helms said the state uses geographical names for North Dakota oil fields, which required a name change. But he said there are other fields with Sakakawea in the name.

"There's a topographic feature, right within that field, called 'Phalen's Butte,'" Helms said. "So this order would change the name of the field, as well as the Bakken and Mission Canyon pools in that field, to 'Phalen's Butte Field.'"

The commission unanimously agreed.