Announcing Keya Park (Pocahontas Park Renaming)

Update (August 2023): We are ready to install the new playground and need your help! We will be holding a community playground build on Saturday, September 30 at 9:00am. Sign up here to help build the playground. No experience in necessary - our contractor will be on hand to train and guide the installation. 

Sign up here.


Update (Feb. 2023): The name Keya Park has been selected to replace Pocahontas Park. Keya is the Dakota word for turtle and was recommended by a neighbor of the park. The name is a reference to the turtles that can occasionally be found in the park, the playful spirit of the park and the Dakota heritage of the land. Read more

Throughout 2023 the city will implement a transition from Pocahontas to Keya. Check back for details. 

  • February 2023: Letter sent to residents near the park regarding the new park name and playground.

Parks and Recreation Commission Seeks Possible New Names for Pocahontas Park

The Parks and Recreation Commission is seeking feedback from the community regarding a possible new name for Pocahontas Park. 

This list of names has been compiled from a variety of engagement methods throughout the summer. 

Click here to view a list of the names that have been suggested.

Please review the list and provide the Commission with feedback on which name(s) you would recommend for the park and why. 

The following elements could be useful for park naming:

  • Natural habitat vegetation, terrain and animals
  • Geographic location
  • Appropriate non-descript terminology
  • Given the previous name of the park, some consideration may also be given to names that reflect the Native American history of the land  

Provide feedback here

What is the Process and How Can I Participate?

Spring/Summer 2022 - Name Collection (view the list of names that were collected)

November 1, 2022 - the Parks and Recreation Commission will review the list of names and attempt to reduce it to a more manageable number. 

December 6, 2022 - the Parks and Recreation Commission will review the condensed list from November 1, and any additional feedback received and attempt to arrive at a name recommendation. 

Click here to provide written feedback

Public comment is welcome at all Parks and Recreation Commission meetings. View agendas and schedules here.

Once the Parks and Recreation Commission arrives at a recommendation, that recommendation will be provided to the City Council for final action. 

Why Is the Park Being Renamed?

In recent months, the Parks and Recreation Commission has undertaken an examination of the appropriateness of the name of Pocahontas Park. The process was guided by the Government Alliance for Race and Equity Toolkit, Roseville's Racial Equity Narrative and the City's commitment to engaging the Community. 

The process included direct outreach to several Native American individuals and groups, an examination of research related to issues of utilizing Native American names, and engagement with Roseville residents, particularly those that live near the park. 

Specifically, the concerns that were raised were: 

  • The story of Pocahontas that most people know is inaccurate and contains stereotypes. As told by her tribe, Pocahontas was actually captured and abused by white settlers throughout her life. 
  • Research shows that romanticizing the past and inaccurate portrayals of Native Americans is harmful to Native Americans currently.
  • Pocahontas had no ties to Minnesota or the tribes that reside here.

On January 31, 2022, the Commission recommended that the City move forward with changing the name. Based on that recommendation, the City Council requested that the Commission move forward with a process to recommend a new name.

That process is planned for summer and fall of 2022. 

Parks and Recreation Commission Discussion To Date

View a Summary of Feedback, Engagement and What Has Been Learned to Date

September 1, 2020 -  History of who Pocahontas, the person, was

October 6, 2020 - Overview of the GARE Racial Equity Took Kit

November 5, 2020 - Develop Engagement Plan

December 1, 2020 - Guest Speaker 

January 25, 2021 - Joint Meeting with City Council

February 2, 2021 - Additional steps in engagement

April 6, 2021 - Updated process 

September 7, 2021 - Parks and Recreation Commission Listening Session 

January 31, 2022 - Joint Meeting between the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council

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