Santa Barbara renames street offensive to Chumash tribal leaders

December 14, 2020

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

In response to pressure from Chumash tribal leaders, the city of Santa Barbara on Monday is renaming “Dead Indian” Street to “Earth Mother” Street.

Santa Barbara will no longer have a street named “Indio Muerto,” which is Spanish for dead Indian. The name Indio Muerto is being replaced with “Hutash,” a Chumash term for earth mother.

This spring, the Barbareno Chumash Tribal Council requested the name change. Though Santa Barbara has a well-established history of its original street names, the city council determined Indio Muerto was not an appropriate name and voted on Sept. 29 to rename the street Hutash.

City officials are holding a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday afternoon to unveil the new street signs.


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Adam Trask

Congratulations, Santa Barbara, this is a positive move forward in recognizing the plight of indigenous people in this area. Historically, this name represents the hundreds of Chumash who were wiped out by the Spanish explorers who outright killed many but also brought measles and small pox as they moved north in a trail of destruction from San Diego to San Francisco.


Messkit

Curious why the tribe calls themselves “Barbareno”? Surely, one would think they adopted a Spanish moniker without objections…


J-Man

I bet the residents are stoked they have to change there address on all of there ID’s, bills, ect. How do you say “screwed” in Chumash?


fredpacker

It’s “their address” genius. Another news flash: the post office will continue to deliver to the old address so no one has to change their address on bills if they don’t want to.


scott_giles

The changing of names is really complex to me on one hand it makes some people more comfortable on the other hand its kinda like censorship of history atleast to me anyways…i know they changed the red***** football team…in orangevale California they changed a lake’s name to negro bar and I’m sure there’s other instances.


paragon

Honestly I don’t think the residents of Volgograd thought twice about “censorship of history” when they renamed their city from “Stalingrad”. The horrors of Stalin will be well documented in the annals of history with or without a city being named after him.