California Native American Monument

The California Native American Monument was unveiled on November 7th, 2023 during Native American Heritage Month. Located in Capitol Park near 13th and L Streets, the bronze statue is eight feet tall and depicts Miwok community leader William Franklin, Sr. in traditional dance regalia. Franklin’s likeness was chosen to represent the Miwok and Nisenan tribes whose ancestral lands make up present-day Sacramento. Nine seals depicting California native plants and animals encircle the monument, emblematic of the deep connection between the natural world and the Nisenan and Miwok peoples.

This monument replaces a statue of Spanish missionary Father Junipero Serra that was torn down by protestors in July 2020. The following year, Assemblymember James C. Ramos (District 45), the first California Native American state lawmaker, introduced Assembly Bill 338. The bill called for the construction of a new monument to California’s Native American communities in lieu of repairing the original statue. It also enabled tribal nations in the Sacramento area to participate in the planning, installation, and maintenance of the new monument. “We’re here because of the resiliency of our elders and ancestors,” Assemblymember Ramos told the hundreds who gathered for the monument’s 2023 dedication, “to show [that] the California Indian people are still very much ingrained in the thread of the state of California.”

image of the California Native American Monument
Image of California Native American Monument