New Native American Statue is Unveiled in Capitol Park

Here are some images from the new Native American Statue is Unveiled in Capitol Park. It was the dedication of the beautiful bronze William J. Franklin Sr. statue in downtown Sacramento’s park.

It takes the place of the Junipero Serra monument, which was toppled in 2020 during the Black Lives Matter riots. Serra was associated with the gross mistreatment of Native Americans during the Spanish colonization period. Sacramento was also built on unceeded indigenous lands, therefore Assemblyman James Ramos (the only Native American in the California legislature) introduced the legislation that authorized the replacement statue.

William J. Franklin Sr. was a Miwok leader who worked ceaselessly to keep traditional cultural elements such as dances and songs alive. Hundreds attended the event, from lawmakers, to tribal leaders, to Franklin family members, to Miwok Middle School students. “The statue symbolizes the resilience of our people,” said Rhonda L. Morningstar Pope, Chairwoman of Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians.


  • Nikon 780 body
  • Nikkor 70-200, f/2.8
  • Stepstool

My challenge for this event was not having a press credentiall. Even though I could have probabably squatted low in front and to the side of the press platform since it was a fairly informal event, I opted not to. Instead, I pulled out my trusted “turtle” stepstool and positioned myself behind the seated guests behind some landscaping. I had a pretty clear shot of the podium and statue.

Had I wanted to get the dancers without the nearby crowd, I would have had to leave my spot. There were a lot of middle school children in the back where I was shooting, so I opted to stay where I was.

I sometimes prefer the shots that include people in the crowd because arguably it gives a truer and more complete feel for the event, rather than just lots of podium closeups.

It also gives me a different and unique vantage point than every other photographer there.

If I had brought my 200-400 f/4 zoom, I would have had tighter, closer shots, but I would have needed to wheel it out and have a monopod at the least.

Since I was just shooting this for myself and for stock syndication, I was admittedly feeling a little lazy and did not want to deal with the big heavy lens. * * *

All photos are copyright Chris Allan and cannot be used without my written permission. Please contact me for usage rights. Thank you for reading my blog post “New Native American Statue is Unveiled in Capitol Park.” To learn more about me and my work, please see my About page.

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