Historic Unveiling of Native American Monument at California State Capitol Set for Tuesday

William Franklin Jr. Monumen( rendering displayed last year. Photo/Assemblymember James Ramos)
William Franklin Jr. Monumen( rendering displayed last year. Photo/Assemblymember James Ramos)

Native American Heritage Month. Tribal leaders, lawmakers, students, and other dignitaries will be on hand on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 for the unveiling of a historic monument dedicated to memorialize the Native Americans in Capitol Park on the grounds of California’s state capitol in Sacramento, California.

The capitol stands on the ancestral lands of Sacramento tribes that still exist today. The timing of the unveiling coincides with Native American Heritage Month. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new monument was held during November 2022.

The new monument replaces the statue of controversial Franciscan Friar Junipero Serra, which stood in the park since 1967, was toppled by protestors on July 4 2020, but because the sculpture was created pursuant to legislation in the 1960s, another law is required to create a new monument.

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The Native American monument will be the tenth structure added to Capitol Park, and the first since 2009, when the statue of Thomas Starr King was brought to California from Boston. King was a Civil War-era minister, famed orator, and abolitionist. The park was envisioned in 1863 as a place to reflect and celebrate California history and natural beauty, according to the Capitol Park website.

California Assemblymember James C. Ramos, a Democrat who represents San Bernardino and the first California Native American elected to the Legislature, authored AB 338 in 2021, which authorized establishment of the monument. Capitol Park’s latest monument commemorates a respected Miwok leader and cultural dancer, William J. Franklin Sr.

WHAT:               Unveiling and dedication of the new monument honoring Capitol region tribes as the state and nation celebrate Native American Heritage Month; cultural performances by Kalte Crew from Wilton Rancheria, Shingle Springs Traditional Dancers, and Tuolumne Me-Wuk Dancers; remarks by tribal leaders

WHEN:              10 a.m., Tuesday, November 7, 2023

WHERE:           Capitol Park (L Street side, across from Hyatt Hotel)

                         1300 L Street

                         Sacramento, CA 95814

WATCH:          Connect to Facebook or YouTube from Assemblymember Ramos’s web site at https://a45.asmdc.org/

About the Author: "Levi \"Calm Before the Storm\" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print\/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at levi@nativenewsonline.net."

Contact: levi@nativenewsonline.net