Is 'squaw' an offensive word?

The New York Times had a front-page article describing how American Indians (sorry, if I called them "Native Americans" I could be naming any of the 90% of Americans like me who were born here), want all towns with the word "Squaw" in them to be renamed.  States like Oregon are trying to comply, but Indians are coming up with all sorts of unpronouncable names to replace them: Officials protested that some of the name changes proposed by Native Americans – like Sáykiptatpa and Nikéemex – were too hard to pronounce, prompting the tribes to create an interactive pronunciation guide. “Seriously, can you pronounce them?” asked Mr. Britton, the county commissioner. “It’s a safety issue. Someone making a 911 call has to say the location, and the dispatcher has to understand and repeat it to the sheriff.” I'm just glad our American Indians aren't from New Guinea.  Then they'd be...(Read Full Post)