Reexamining Our Past

State Parks Addresses Discriminatory Names and Inequities

Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot, State Parks Director Armando Quintero and Department of Transportation Director Toks Omishakin announced a series of actions to identify and redress discriminatory names of features attached to the state parks and transportation systems.  The move comes in the wake of a national conversation about the names of geographic features and builds upon Governor Gavin Newsom’s work to support equity, inclusion and accountability throughout the state to better reflect our values. These steps also dovetail with several policies advanced by Governor Newsom that seek to examine and address historic wrongs and promote access and inclusion for California Native peoples.  

State Parks has begun to inventory racist markers and names of features within the State Park System, and is developing a process to assess the inventory and solicit input on potential name changes.  The department’s Tribal Affairs Program will assist with the identification and redress of discriminatory names of concern to California Native American tribes. There will be opportunities for the public to participate in and comment on the department's efforts.

Secretary Crowfoot has also directed the Natural Resources Agency to expand representation and increase transparency for the California Advisory Committee on Geographic Names, the state committee tasked with recommending changes to geographic names in California.

This webpage will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Individuals interested in subscribing to updates on this important effort are asked to email the department at planning@parks.ca.gov.

Tribal membersGold Miners at Spanish Flat circa 1852. Courtesy of the California History Room, California State Library, Sacramento, California.

Announcements

Negro Bar

State Parks is seeking public input on a new name for Negro Bar, located within the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, that will honor the contributions of African American miners at this historic site, while still remaining culturally appropriate.  Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov/NegroBar.

Santa Cruz Mission

Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park released a statement acknowledging the impact of the mission on California Native American people and their commitment to creating a more welcoming and healing space. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov/SantaCruzMission

Sutter's Fort

Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park released a statement acknowledging the fort’s role in sharing an unbalanced perspective of the 19th century and their commitment to working with California Native Americans to tell the whole story. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov/SuttersFortHistory