City Hosts Chochenyo Park Celebration

Photos by Maurice Ramirez Members of the City Council joined those in the community involved in renaming Jackson Park to Chochenyo Park. The city celebrated the name change last Thursday.

City Hosts Chochenyo Park Celebration

Last Thursday, July 29, the community gathered to honor Chochenyo Park.

On Jan. 19, the City Council directed staff to dename this park due to the atrocities committed by its namesake, President Andrew Jackson,

Jackson enslaved hundreds of African Americans and was responsible for the forced relocation of Native Americans (now known as the Trail of Tears) from their ancestral lands in the southeast U.S. to Oklahoma. His actions resulted in thousands of deaths from starvation and exposure.

Chochenyo is the language spoken by the Lisjan Ohlone people, who first lived, and continue to live, on the land that is now known as the East Bay. Their unceded territory includes the City of Alameda. This decision followed a comprehensive input process that included a diverse, community-led committee, a unanimous vote of the Recreation and Park Commission, as well as community surveys and engagement. The renaming was the result of a grassroots effort that began in 2018.

The celebration included speaker remarks, music and a picnic dinner. Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft joined Corrina Gould — tribal spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan and Co-Founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust — and Rename Jackson Park members Raquel Williams and Rasheed Shabazz in addressing those gathered for the celebration.

Recreation and Parks Commissioner Adrienne Alexander, Rhythmix Executive Director Tina Blaine “Bean” and artists from Creating Our Future also spoke

DJ SamoaBoy entertained with his music and Tahina, Jonathan’s Sandwich House, and Viva Mexico Picnic provided dinners.

“Parks are important public spaces, their names have impacts, and should represent the values of the community,” the city stated in the press release announcing the celebration.

Corrina Gould, tribal spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan and co-Founder of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, was among the speakers who addressed those gathered for the celebration.