David Smith Memorial Park

Historic Event

David Smith Memorial Park

Historic Event

Bernadette Smith, daughter of David Smith stands proudly by her fathers sign

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Pomo Dancers honoring and celebrating the renaming of David Smith Memorial Park

The Town of Windsor and the Progressive Tribal Alliance have been developing a Master Plan for David Smith Memorial Park.

 This plan identifies opportunities to expand inclusive recreation amenities, enhance natural features, and celebrate the Town’s Native history. The town and PTA have identified a local Native Tribal member influential to the history of our community, our culture and our land.

David Smith Memorial Park is an 8.5-acre park located between Old Redwood Highway and Sugar Maple Lane next to Mattie Washburn Elementary School in the Town of Windsor. It features a nature conservation area, playground, picnic area, and dog play area, plus pathways, lawns, and mature trees.

 On April 17, 2024, the Town Council approved the renaming of the park to David Smith Memorial Park in memory of local Pomo tribe member and cultural teacher, David Smith, who had a lasting impact on the Windsor community through his music, dance, storytelling, and leadership.

  • David Smith was born into the Manchester Pt.Arena and Kashia bands of Pomo.

  • At the age of 7, he became a student and dancer for renowned healer Essie Parrish.

  • He is remembered as a ka'be or rockman tor the Coastal Pomo Dancers.

  • David lived in many regions throughout Northern California during his lifetime. He was a Windsor resident in his youth and then again as an adult, raising his kids in Windsor.

  • In 1969, David joined the occupation of Alcatraz as one of the first occupiers of the island as part or Indians of All Tribes.

  •  In 1970, David was instrumental in securing 150 acres for the permanent land base for Indians of all Tribes Town limits, now called Ya Ka Ama. This is located right outside Windsor Town Limits adjacent to Shone Farm.

  • He practiced and then taught his traditional ways starting as a very young child, always turning to his spiritual beliefs, songs and dances for healing and strength through his final days. 

These are just but a few reasons that David Smith was chosen.

 This historic action represents the first time in the county’s entire history that a Native community leader is being recognized and honored in this way.

"My job was to teach, to keep these songs and dances going. I think I did my job and I know I can rest” -David Smith

As always, If you don’t know now you know, a Native!



Keep Our Sisters Safe - MMIW

By Alana Minkler The Press Democrat

The smell of sage wafted through a sea of about 150 people wearing red and carrying signs calling attention to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons crisis outside Santa Rosa City Hall on Tuesday.

The crowd had marched a half mile from the Peace and Justice Center to raise awareness of the disproportionate numbers of Indigenous people who become victims of violence, including murder, human trafficking and kidnapping, as many of their cases go unsolved.

It was the second annual march organized by Madonna Feather-Cruz, a tribal liaison based in Santa Rosa, who planned to read the city’s previously passed ordinance establising Missing and Murdered Indigenous People day. The rally follows the fourth consecutive year President Joe Biden has recognized May 5 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day.

Many of Tuesday’s marchers painted red handprints across their mouths, a symbol of the MMIP crisis. As the beat of Indigenous drums reverberated, some sang “Keep our sisters safe.”

Others chanted names of Indigenous people who have gone missing or have been murdered on reservations, including Khadijah Britton from the Round Valley Indian Tribes and Nicole Smith from the Manchester Rancheria.

Native family members Angelica Smith and her 19-year-old daughter Precious Thomas were part of the march.

Their cousin, Nicole Smith, was killed in a drive-by-shooting at another cousin’s home on the Mendocino County reservation in 2017. She said Smith’s killing is considered a cold-case now.

“It just kind of really makes everybody sad, because you just don't know when that could happen to anybody,” Angelica Smith said. “Then just to see nothing move forward, what are they supposed to do?”

Every year, the two go to ceremonies to dance and raise awareness for missing people, including Nicole Smith, who was also a traditional dancer and mother of three.

Smith said that as she dances for the MMIP movement, she prays for Native families.

“I always pray for the strength to move forward, the strength to just be able to un derstand that everything has its place,” she said.

There are over 150 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and two spirit people (a Native term for someone who identifies as both genders) documented throughout the state, according to the Sovereign Bodies Institute in 2020.

That places California among the top five states with the highest number of MMIP cases. More than a third of California's MMIP cases come from Yurok Country in Del Norte and Humboldt counties in the far northern reaches of the state.

Several prominent local leaders joined the rally, including Herman G. Hernandez, executive director of Los Cien, Alicia Sanchez, a longtime activist and union leader, and City Council member Eddie Alvarez.

“Often we simply stand away because it doesn’t affect us immediately,” Alvarez said.

“But the first step is to listen and hear solutions. Action is long overdue and I’m happy to see our Native community members come together to tell their stories.”

Precious Thomas said she was taking the day to feel grateful for the amount of national attention Native communities have received through rallies like the one held Tuesday.

“There’s always more you can do, and I think we should take a moment to feel grateful and proud that we’ve reached this point,” she said. “It’s not just being swept under the rug anymore.”

Alqua Cox - Menominee, Mohican

Alaqua Cox was born on November 14, 1997, in Menominee, Wisconsin. As a member of the Menominee and Mohican tribes, her heritage has been a cornerstone of her identity and later, her career. Born deaf and an amputee, she faced unique challenges from a young age. However, these challenges shaped her resilience and determination, qualities that would become defining aspects of her career.

Despite having no prior professional acting experience, Cox's dynamic presence and authenticity caught the attention of casting directors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a significant move towards inclusivity and representation, she was cast in the role of Maya Lopez, also known as Echo, a deaf Native superhero, in the Disney+ series "Hawkeye" which premiered in 2021. 

This role marked a milestone not only in Cox's life but also in the landscape of Hollywood, where representation of disabled and Native actors is limited. Her portrayal of Maya Lopez was met with critical acclaim, her performance being praised for its depth and authenticity.

She has become an advocate for the deaf and disabled community, as well as for greater representation of Native in the entertainment industry. Her breakthrough role has made her a role model for many, showcasing the importance of diversity and representation in media. She continues to use her growing platform to speak out on these issues, inspiring a new generation of artists and audiences. 

Following her successful debut in "Hawkeye," she has already reprised her role as Maya Lopez in the spin-off series "Echo," which further explores her character's story. This opportunity positions her as one of the few Native actresses to lead a Marvel series, signaling a positive shift towards more inclusive storytelling in mainstream media.

While still early in her career, her impact is already significant. She represents a breaking of barriers in Hollywood, challenging traditional norms and expectations. Her journey symbolizes hope and change, not only in the entertainment industry but also for communities that she represents. She stands as a beacon of resilience, talent, and the power of representation, paving the way for future generations of diverse artists.

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