Pocahontas Park Name Review

The Parks and Recreation Commission is currently examining the name of Pocahontas Park after concerns were raised that the name may be offensive, and if so, does not reflect Roseville’s desire to be an inclusive community. As a result, the Commission has been learning more about the subject. At recent meetings, the Parks and Recreation Commission learned more about who Pocahontas (birth name Matoaka), was, heard feedback from representatives of Native American groups, received feedback from residents and discussed the issue.

Based on initial conversations, the commission has developed an Engagement and Analysis Plan based upon the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) Racial Equity Toolkit and the draft HRIEC engagement best practices.

The Parks and Recreation Commission is planning to hear more from Native American communities, Native American residents of Roseville, neighbors of Pocahontas Park and other Roseville residents who are interested in the conversation.

What are the concerns about the name Pocahontas Park?

In conversations with representatives of  Native American groups and others, the following concerns have been raised. 

  • 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.
Pocahontas Park

Parks and Recreation Commission Discussion 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 

Provide Feedback

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

Suggest a possible new name for the park if the name is changed