Re: NANFA-- Sheatfish
Tue, 4 Jan 2000 00:39:04 EST

In a message dated 1/3/00 11:52:04 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< pikeminnow is the new term for squawfish, which many in the native american
community found offensive. It seems that the word 'squaw' refers to female
reproductive organs in Algonquin.
Actually I knew that already, but didn't pay close enough attention to the
common name in the message I replied to ; I thought it said "pike topminnow".
The ironic thing is, I told George Heath (who used the very similar common
name pikeminnow to refer to the Belonesox sp. ) that the correct term was
pike topminnow and that if he used the term pikeminnow he would confuse
people into thinking he was talking about a different fish. And here I go
getting confused by the very same set of common names, but in reverse! I
wouldn't blame George for saying, "The student is now the teacher"!

Btw, I had heard an alternate explanation of the origin of the word squaw ;
that it was a French word (or a corruption of a French word) that was a
derogatory word for native American women meaning "whore". I also read
somewhere that the women of the tribes caught these fish and that the men
caught fish like salmon or something like that. Hence the former name
"squawfish" (don't know if this story is in any way valid for sure but I
thought I'd share it). This origin I could definitely understand being
offensive to native Americans.

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,