The City is considering restoring the name of the lands in and around Austin Estuary and Donkey Creek Parks to honor the Puyallup Tribe’s history in Gig Harbor.
As part of this effort, the City formed an ad-hoc committee to develop and provide recommendations to the City. The ad-hoc committee’s proposed actions will be presented at the February 3 Parks Commission meeting and may include:
- Naming of Twalwacut Estuary: The Donkey Creek watershed, including the 7+ acre estuary, the Gig Harbor History Museum site, and the lands in and around Donkey Creek Park be named "Twalwacut" Estuary in recognition of the historic Sxʷəbabč village site.
- Changing the name of the City’s "Austin Estuary Park" to "Austin Park."
- Recognition of Ancestral Homelands of Sxʷəbabč Peoples: The City’s Historic Certified Local Government representatives (CLGs), in consultation with the Puyallup Tribe, to recommend an area within the Gig Harbor waterfront to designate as ancestral homelands of the Sxʷəbabč peoples. The Parks Commission asks the CLGs to work with the Puyallup Tribe and the City Planning Department to name the region "Ancestral Homelands of the Sxʷəbabč". This would be an honorary designation for educational and awareness purposes only and would carry with it no regulatory impact.
A virtual Public Hearing on this topic will be held at the Parks Commission’s February 3 meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. to accept public testimony. Interested persons are invited to attend the virtual hearing and make their views known. For more information see the Parks Commission agenda here: http://www.cityofgigharbor.net/Calendar.aspx?EID=1966&month=2&year=2021&day=3&calType=0