State park in NorCal will now be called by Indigenous name

California
Sue-meg State Park, formerly known as Patrick’s Point, in Humboldt County is seen in an undated photo. (California Department of Parks and Recreation)

Sue-meg State Park, formerly known as Patrick’s Point, in Humboldt County is seen in an undated photo. (California Department of Parks and Recreation)

Skip Lowry learned the Indigenous dances of the Yurok people as a child by watching the elders gather in the summertime at a re-created village along the Humboldt County coast in Northern California.

The village, completed in 1990, was always a place of healing for Lowry, a Yurok descendant — but there was a lingering hurt there too. It’s in a state park that was named after a man accused of killing a Native American boy and committing other atrocities against Indigenous people in the 1800s.

“It’s always been a slap in my face and a punch in my stomach,” Lowry said.

But that changed Thursday when the California State Park and Recreation Commission took the unprecedented step of renaming the 625-acre park. The change, effective immediately, stripped the Patrick’s Point State Park moniker and restored its Indigenous Yurok name: Sue-meg.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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