We on the steering committee of Humboldt Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (HAPI) are writing in enthusiastic support of the proposed name change for Patrick's Point State Park to Sue-meg State Park ("State Parks Seeks Public Input on Patrick's Point Name Change to Honor Yurok Tribe," posted Sept. 10). We are the founders of HAPI, formed "to build and empower our community by amplifying, supporting and encouraging diverse voices and perspectives to foster a more engaged and inclusive community."
Part of our work toward freedom from oppressive structures and systemic racism is informed by bringing to light and reconciling the racist acts of the past, and to share the facts of revisionist history. The proposed park name change — from honoring a murderer of Native Americans, instead to affirming the Yurok place name used by the ancestral indigenous people who have lived in the area for thousands of years — is a meaningful acknowledgement of the region's original peoples who overcame the terrible injustices suffered over hundreds of years, and promotes reconciling these past acts towards a more equitable future.
HAPI recently has supported a local project to educate the public about the expulsion of Chinese people on the North Coast in the late 1800s, which decimated the Chinatown community that had existed in Eureka and buttressed the hostile tone of the social and political environment for people of Asian descent for more than half a century — that sadly, is in part still present today. Our group name ends with "in Solidarity." It is in keeping with HAPI's vision that we stand in solidarity with our indigenous sisters and brothers, and wholeheartedly support the park name change to Sue-meg State Park.
Terry Uyeki, McKinleyville