The Washington State Geographic Names Committee and COGNA’s Executive Secretary cordially invite you to join us for the Annual Conference of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities, to be held in Tacoma, Washington, June 19-23, 2018.
Registration is now open for the 2018 Council of Geographic Names Authorities annual Geographic Names Conference. The conference will be held June 19-23 in Tacoma, Washington. We are encouraging everyone to register before June 6 so that we can make appropriate plans. In addition, we would like to hear from you even if you cannot come to the conference. Simply fill out the form and indicate 0 in the registration section and add a comment of why you are unable to attend.
Attendees from a variety of complementary backgrounds will share their experiences, their expertise, and will work towards improving standardization practices across the Toponymic community. The conference will provide an exciting and diverse program ranging from educational presentations to discussions about best practices used to manage geographic names information. New information will be posted as it becomes available.
Mary Schaff, Conference Chair
Wayne Furr, Executive Secretary
Tuesday, June 19th
Registration & Opening
Washington State Historical
2:00—5:00 p.m. Registration opens
Wednesday, June 20th
University of Washington, Tacoma
Jane Russell Commons, William W.
a.m. Registration opens
- 8:30—9:00 a.m.
Housekeeping announcements, opening remarks
a.m. COGNA Business Meeting including State Reports
- 10:30 a.m.—Noon:
continue State Reports
p.m. Lunch break
p.m. Washington State Geographic Names Committee Meeting
3:30—4:00 p.m. Early Place Names in Whatcom County, Washington: Grant Smith
p.m. The Hudson’s Bay Company
Era: A Legacy of South Puget Sound Place Names: Drew Crooks
4:30—4:45 p.m. DuPont, Washington: Naming a Company Town: Jennifer Crooks
p.m. Lightning talk
Thursday, June 21st
a.m. Registration opens
a.m. U.S. BGN Staff Reports
- 10:30 a.m. —Noon
U.S. BGN Cases
p.m. State/Federal Roundtable:
3:30—4:00 p.m. BGN Tribal Geographic Names Policy (Policy
X): Betsy Kanalley; U.S. Forest Service
p.m. The Mount
McKinley-Denali Controversy and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names: Douglas L. Vandegraft; Chief
of the Geospatial Services Division, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
4:30—5:00 p.m. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the
U.S. Board on Geographic Names: Tara Wallace; NOAA
Friday, June 22nd
Papers and Discussions on General Interest
· 9:00—9:30 a.m. The Geographical Research of Jules Jetté: James Kari (Alaska Native Language
Center) & David Kingma (Jesuit Oregon Province
a.m. Places of Power: Examining French Toponymic
Spatial Patterns in the Mississippi River Basin: Marcelle Caturia;
(Geographer), GNIS/Names Support Unit, US Geological Survey - National
Geospatial Technical Operations Center
11:30—11:45 a.m. The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names (SDBGN) Public
Involvement Process: David Reiss; SDBGN Administrator; Sr. Policy Advisor; SD Department of Tribal
11:45—12:00 noon Lightning Talk or early lunch break
p.m. Lunch Break
p.m. Panel Discussion
on Native American Place Names: Panel members; Brandon Reynon, Puyallup Tribe,
Betsy Kanalley, US Forest Service, Mike Iyall, Washington Committee on Geographic
Names/Cowlitz Tribe and Nile Thompson, Dushuyay Research
· 3:00—3:30 p.m. Break
· 3:30—4:00 p.m. Conference Wrap-up
4:00—6:00 p.m. On your own!
State Historical Society Museum
6:00— 7:00 p.m. Reception Dinner
p.m. Nile Thompson, Closing-Keynote Speaker: Nile worked on the Waterlines project http://www.burkemuseum.org/static/waterlines/ and is an expert at Native
American geography and place names issues.
Saturday, June 23rd
Tour (Price to be determined!)
a.m.—5:00 p.m. A Toponymic Tour on Saturday, June 23 will be dependent on
interest. Tentative plans currently include a van tour of nearby Vashon Island.
More details will be provided as our planning solidifies.
Early Place Names in Whatcom County, Washington
paper will describe early place names of Whatcom County, Washington in order to
show the historical and linguistic background of the European settlers in the
region and their cultural interchange with one another and with the Indian
tribes already in residence. Primary focus will be on the basic patterns
established by the initial cultural
exchange that remain dominant, and relatively little attempt will be
made to trace the later overlay of commercial or other social interests. My
sources will include thirteen local histories, standard place name studies,
early maps, pamphlets, and family manuscripts (mostly from my own family but
from others too). These sources are not exhaustive but more than sufficient to
illustrate the persistent cultural patterns established by the early contact of
settlers and resident Indians. My analysis will rely on George R. Stewart’s
classification of place names, which is based on the mechanisms of naming
rather than on the motives, and I shall handout copies of that classification
with my tabulations on names. Ambiguities in Stewart’s classification system
will be noted, but no attempt will be made to correct or justify it. Its general
usefulness in describing a cultural pattern will be apparent in my analysis.
The Hudson’s Bay Company Era: A Legacy of South Puget
Sound Place Names
Place names reflect a region’s history. In the South Puget Sound area of
Western Washington there are numerous names bestowed by people who once lived
or visited here. One set of place names are associated with the Hudson’s Bay
Company (or HBC) era of the nineteenth century. The HBC, a British corporation,
operated trading posts across what is now Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
In the South Puget Sound region the HBC ran from 1833 to 1870 a successive
series of posts all called Nisqually. Today the sites of these stations are
located in the city of DuPont, Pierce County, Washington. In the nineteenth
century multicultural HBC employees at Nisqually traded for furs with Native
Americans, farmed on a large scale, and sold supplies to American settlers.
kaleidoscope of human activity came a number of place names for geographic
features in South Puget Sound. Much of this nomenclature has disappeared over
time, but some names have survived to the present. These surviving terms, due
to the multicultural nature of the HBC workforce, come from Native American,
French Canadian, and British sources.
This illustrated presentation by historian
Drew Crooks will first briefly examine the HBC era, and then discuss in detail
a sampling of surviving HBC era names in South Puget Sound and their historical
Naming a Company Town
DuPont, Washington lies in Pierce County,
Washington. Though the area is noted for its Native American and Hudson’s Bay
Company history, this brief talk will focus on the company town founded in
1909. DuPont Village was built by the E. I. du Pont de Nemours Company to house
workers for their nearby explosives plant. Named after the Company, this
planned community’s streets were named after the Company’s other plants around
the country. After the Company closed the plant in the 1970s, DuPont has
undergone many changes and undergone rapid growth, but naming trends still
reflect the area’s history. For example, streets in the new Northwest Landing
development were specially picked to reflect local history in the hopes of
strengthening community identity.
BGN Tribal Geographic
Names Policy (Policy X)
Betsy Kanalley; U.S. Forest Service
Mount McKinley-Denali Controversy and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names
Cypress Tree Place
For thousands of years, the highest point in North America
has been known by Native Alaskans as Denali.
In 1898, the name Mount McKinley was first applied to Federal maps of
Alaska. In 1975, Governor Jay Hammond of
Alaska requested that the government officially change the name to Denali. However, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names
(BGN) did not process the proposal due to the actions of congressmen from Ohio
who wanted the mountain to be forever named McKinley. The BGN has a policy of not acting on name
issues that are the subject of pending congressional legislation. In July 2015, an upcoming visit to Alaska by
President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell provided an
opportunity for the BGN to finally help resolve the issue. The author was the Chairman of the Domestic
Names Committee of the BGN at the time, and was involved in preparing briefing
materials for Secretary Jewell.
BIO: Douglas Vandegraft is the Chief of the Geospatial
Services Division for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and a Deputy Member
of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.
Doug lived in Alaska for many years and currently resides in
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Board on
formation in 1807, the Coast Survey – currently known as NOAA’s Office of Coast
Survey, has been a proponent of standardized place names. In the early 1800’s, there was a need for
documenting geographic names during the surveying and mapping of the United
States. Geographic names were assessed
and documented as part of the survey process. Detailed reports were submitted
that included a general description of the area, as well as a list of names and
an authoritative source for each recorded name.
names are one of many sources used to compile a nautical chart, electronic
navigational chart, and Coast Pilot.
These navigational products are legal documents that require our
cartographers to track all changes made to each new edition, including
geographic names. NOAA complies with the
U.S. policy of “one feature, one name” by using only official names found in
GNIS. Historic and secondary names are
important in the culture of local residents, but standardized geographic names
are vital references for emergency responders, navigators, and others. Names
not found in the GNIS may be included in original source documents processed by
NOAA’s Nautical Data Branch. These new
geographic names are not added to nautical charts until they are approved by
the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.
The Geographical Research of Jules Jetté
James Kari (Alaska Native Language
Center) & David
Kingma (Jesuit Oregon Province Archives)
Upon his arrival in Nulato in November of
1898, the Jesuit scholar Jules Jetté (1864-1927) began for Denaakk’e (Koyukon) the broadest,
most meticulously detailed and ethnologically rich research program that has ever been conducted
for an Alaska Native language. Jules
Jetté’s method for documenting place names were entirely of his own invention
and were rigorous and scientific. During 2015-2018 with
funding from the Alaska BIA ANCSA office and a project based at Tanana Chiefs
Conference we are consolidating all of the Koyukon and other Dene place names that
Jetté for a book to be titled The Geographical Research of Jules Jetté.
of Power: Examining French Toponymic Spatial Patterns in the Mississippi River
Trainee (Geographer), GNIS/Names
Geological Survey - National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
Place-names, or toponyms, represent both
location and symbolic meaning, and examining the spatial distribution of
place-names across landscapes can reveal otherwise hidden cultural patterns.
Including quantitative methods as part of the process of interpretive
ethnocultural research has contributed to revitalizing modern scholarship in
toponomy. This study takes a similar methodological approach by using spatial
statistical methods to visualize general spatial patterns of French place-names
in the Mississippi River Basin, combined with qualitative historical and
cultural analysis of socio-political patterns at the more local scale of
Minnesota. Integrated analysis of
toponymy enables us to better understand how and why French toponymic power
changed over time, which yields useful insights to the region’s geography and history.
The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names (SDBGN) Public
Sr. Policy Advisor
SD Department of Tribal
proposal to present a paper is prefaced upon acceptance to present in a
lightning talk or abbreviated individual presentation discussing the SDBGN’s
public involvement process for considering geographic name changes to place
names which have been deemed offensive by the South Dakota Legislature. The
SDBGN has established a rigorous and extensive hearing and public involvement
process to gather information, public comments, and local government input when
presented proposals for replacement names of geographic features or names for
unnamed geographic places. The proposed paper will review the history of the
SDBGN’s public involvement process, explain the current SDBGN process, and
review how and why the SDBGN’s public involvement process has been changed
through legislative action. Additionally, the paper will briefly discuss South
Dakota open meeting law requirements, records retention, and provide an
overview of recent government transparency efforts in South Dakota.
public involvement process and authority has changed largely due to a singular
place name change consideration; the name change of Harney Peak to Black Elk
Peak in the Black Hills region of western South Dakota. Due to high interest
locally and regionally, the public comment and deliberation process the SDBGN
executed in considering a name change to Harney Peak came under scrutiny from
members of the state legislature. Following the USBGN’s decision to rename
Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak, the South Dakota Legislature revised the
authority granted to the SDBGN where it is limited to providing suggestions to
the USBGN only if the Legislature deems a current name of a feature offensive.
In response to revised board authority, the SDBGN has substantively changed the
public involvement plan it utilizes to reflect changes in authorizing statute
and abide by changes in state open meeting requirements. The paper will discuss
these changes, the legislature’s intent, and how the SDBGN will consider name
change submissions into the future.
the 2018 Conference of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA) that will take place June 20—22, 2018
at the University of Washington, Tacoma
We are looking for papers and panel
discussions to explore a full range of geographic names issues. Topics may include: name standardization, policies
at the Federal, State, Tribal, or local levels of government, conflict
resolution regarding naming procedures, and/or geographic name research.
The COGNA Conference is the only
conference that brings together the State Geographic Names Authorities (SNAs)
and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN). The conference provides
participants a unique opportunity to share knowledgeable information about the
geographic naming process and research.
There is no better way to network and benefit from the expertise of
members and staff of the BGN, SNAs, Tribal authorities, other State and Federal
mapping agencies, and members of the geospatial and academic communities.
invite anyone willing to share their personal or professional experiences with
geographic names, research, standardization, policies, and practices to submit
papers for individual presentations (25 minutes with 5 minutes of Q & A), lightning
talks (10 minutes) or panel sessions (up to 1.5 hours). For consideration, please submit a 250-word abstract to Mary Schaff at firstname.lastname@example.org and Wayne Furr at email@example.com. Please indicate the type of presentation:
individual, lightning talk, or panel discussion. For panel discussions, provide the names (or
suggested names) of all presenters and their affiliation. NOTE: The date to submit presentations has been extended until the program is filled.
Submissions on any geographic names topics are
welcome. Suggested topics may include,
but are not limited to:
Place names of Tacoma, the Puget Sound area, and Pacific Northwest
Name standardization and clarification in GIS and other mapping
Community engagement in naming processes
History of local geographic names
Changes in place names over time
Linguistic and cultural influences on geographic names
Native American names – restoration or use of perennial Native names
by various agencies such as USGS, USFS, NPS, BLM, FWS, FEMA, State, and local
We hope that you will submit an abstract,
save the dates, and join us in Tacoma, WA for a lively, informative, and
2018 COGNA Accommodations
The COGNA Executive Committee made the decision after the
2017 meeting that the group would not pursue a major hotel contract this year. Our
number of conference participants has grown small enough that filling a costly
room quota is difficult. This is particular true in larger cities like Tacoma
and during the high tourist season. In lieu of a conference hotel, the
conference planning committee is providing a list of nearby hotels and
recommendations. The Google Map below shows the conference meeting locations,
hotel locations, light rail stops, and parking lots.
The following hotels near to UW Tacoma may have government
rate rooms available:
Hotel Murano: http://www.hotelmuranotacoma.com/
Courtyard by Marriott Tacoma: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/seatd-courtyard-tacoma-downtown/
Holiday Inn Express & Suites: https://www.ihg.com/holidayinnexpress/hotels/us/en/tacoma/seacs/hoteldetail Special
notice for attendees who are not government employees or cannot get the
government hotel rate: We have arranged for a small block of rooms at
the government rate just for you at the Holiday Inn Express. To reserve a
room under this block you must call 253-272-2434. Let them know the
group code COG. Or you may use the instructions and the booking link below.
3. Under "Add Special Rate Codes", enter the group code COG to get the group rate.
The last day to make a reservation is May 18th 2018. Any guests that need to book outside of the contracted dates of June 18--23, you will need to contact Dean Cordy directly (253) 274-3997.
Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel: http://bestwesternwashington.com/hotels/best-western-plus-tacoma-dome-hotel
If traveling with a group, you may find it more cost
effective to investigate short-term home or apartment rentals:
Please contact conference planner Mary
Schaff at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns about finding accommodations