Legislative and Tribal leaders will unveil a California Native American Monument in Sacramento’s Capitol Park at a dedication ceremony in November.
The monument will honor Northern California Tribes and will be placed at the site where a statue used to stand that represented a Spanish priest who was involved in the colonization of what later became California.
The unveiling and dedication ceremony will be on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Capitol Park, near L and 12th streets, according to Assemblymember James Ramos.
The new monument will have the likeness of William Franklin Sr., a member of the Miwok who spent decades preserving Native American culture in the state.
His statue will replace that of Spanish priest Junipero Serra, whose involvement in the construction of the California missions starting in 1769 led to the forced assimilation and death of thousands of Indigenous inhabitants of the state.
In the summer of 2020, during the nationwide protests against racism in the United States after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after being detained and pinned down by Minneapolis police officers, protesters in Sacramento toppled the statue of Serra, which had been placed in 1967.
After that statue was removed from the site and placed into storage, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill from Assemblymember Ramos, the first Native American legislator in the state’s history, to erect the new monument in its place.
The statue will honor the following Tribes from the Sacramento area:
• Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
•Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians
•Ione Band of Miwok Indians
•Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians
•Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians
Since 2020, there has been a national reckoning over the commemoration of certain individuals and the use of their images and names that are considered racist or discriminatory.
In California’s state Capitol, a statue depicting Christopher Columbus was removed from the rotunda, where it had stood since 1883.