Pocahontas Park Renaming

PARK NAMES WANTED! 

This summer the city is undertaking a process to rename Pocahontas park. Throughout 2021, in response to resident feedback, the Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed the appropriateness of the name of Pocahontas Park and ultimately recommended that the name be changed based on the impacts that the current name could have on Native American residents and visitors. 

rename sign horiz

This summer, the Parks and Recreation Commission is seeking your input on possible new names for the park. 

The following elements could be useful for park naming:

  • Natural habitat vegetation, terrain and animals
  • Geographic location
  • Appropriate non-descript terminology
  • Given the previous name of the park, some consideration may also be given to names that reflect the Native American history of the land.  

Once a sufficient number of possible names have been received, the Parks and Recreation Commission will review and analyze the list and ultimately recommend a new name to the City Council. 

To suggest a name for the park renaming, click here.

In recent months, the Parks and Recreation Commission has undertaken an examination of the appropriateness of the name of Pocahontas Park. The process was guided by the Government Alliance for Race and Equity Toolkit, Roseville's Racial Equity Narrative and the City's commitment to engaging the Community. 

The process included direct outreach to several Native American individuals and groups, an examination of research related to issues of utilizing Native American names, and engagement with Roseville residents, particularly those that live near the park. 

Specifically, the concerns that were raised were: 

  • The story of Pocahontas that most people know is inaccurate and contains stereotypes. As told by her tribe, Pocahontas was actually captured and abused by white settlers throughout her life. 
  • Research shows that romanticizing the past and inaccurate portrayals of Native Americans is harmful to Native Americans currently.
  • Pocahontas had no ties to Minnesota or the tribes that reside here.

On January 31, 2022, the Commission recommended that the City move forward with changing the name. Based on that recommendation, the City Council requested that the Commission move forward with a process to recommend a new name.

That process is planned for summer of 2022. 

Provide Feedback

Provide feedback for the Parks and Recreation Commission regarding this topic. 


Parks and Recreation Commission Discussion To Date

View a Summary of Feedback, Engagement and What Has Been Learned to Date

September 1, 2020 -  History of who Pocahontas, the person, was

October 6, 2020 - Overview of the GARE Racial Equity Took Kit

November 5, 2020 - Develop Engagement Plan

December 1, 2020 - Guest Speaker 

January 25, 2021 - Joint Meeting with City Council

February 2, 2021 - Additional steps in engagement

April 6, 2021 - Updated process 

September 7, 2021 - Parks and Recreation Commission Listening Session 

January 31, 2022 - Joint Meeting between the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council