Drake Leadership Council responds to Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin’s suggestion for replacement name


Fiona Swan

Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin thinks of name possibilities for HS 1327.

Thurs., Jan. 14, the Drake Leadership Council (DLC) voted on the criteria that potential new names for High School 1327 (HS 1327) must meet. The council also voted on names they acquired from the public’s suggestions, via a form sent out to the public. A crucial discussion point centered around The Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin’s reply to HS 1327 regarding the name change. 

Several names suggested by the public concerned certain council members. The name “Red Hill High School” for example, was thought to be rather close to “Redwood High School.” Many opposed the name “Michael Drake High School” in fear that those deeply against the name change would vote for that option not because they know about or care about Michael Drake, but merely because he shares a last name with Sir Francis Drake. Some members of the Council thought this might be a loophole those against the name change would take advantage of. 

During the meeting, The Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin replied to the question from the DLC about whether or not HS 1327’s name could be changed to something from Native American culture. The Coast Miwok Tribal Council wrote a detailed reply about how and why they came up with their recommendation: Awani-Wi High School, with the mascot of Kulupi, the Hummingbird. Kulupi was chosen as a mascot because Kulupi displayed great courage, compassion, and wisdom in Coast Miwok First People stories. Kulupi stole fire from the sky people in order to give it to humans on Earth so they would have warmth. Awani-Wi is the name of an ancient Coast Miwok village, now encompassed by present day San Anselmo and San Rafael.

Awani-Wi translates to “Red-Earth Painted Basket.” These Coast Miwok baskets are known for their beautiful designs and diversity, as well as their functionality. The Coast Miwok Tribal Council of Marin offered the use of the imagery of these baskets, should HS 1327 decide on Awani-Wi High School as a replacement name.

The list of names voted on by the DLC will not be made public until the council has decided a process of how it will be released. The meeting to determine this process will be Thurs., Jan. 28. By then, the council hopes to have the complete list of possible new names available to the public.