Watch CBS News

New Native American mural on JFK Drive defaced by vandals

JFK Drive street mural in GG Park vandalized
JFK Drive street mural in GG Park vandalized 01:42

SAN FRANCISCO -- In San Francisco, a recently completed mural on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park was vandalized overnight.

JFK Drive Mural vandalized
JFK Drive Mural vandalized. CBS

The art work originally read: "We are on native land." It was created by a group of local artists looking to pay homage to indigenous history in the Bay Area.

Friday morning, one of the artists found the painting had been covered with black paint and writing that read "No such thing."

ALSO READ: SF voters to decide on reopening JFK Drive to cars in Golden Gate Park

The artists told KPIX that they won't be discouraged by what they called a "cowardly, racist act" and that their mission to educate must carry on.

The American Indian Cultural District designed and funded the mural. Sharaya Souza with the organization said they were not surprised by the vandalism because they got some negative feedback right off the bat

"There were people who were like, 'You're just trying to steal the land and Indians aren't here and native people don't exist!' So I knew this was something that had this statement with it. There was potential for people to come and really show where we are and that there is a lot of truth and healing that needs to be done," said Souza.

She said the organization has also gotten a lot of positive feedback on the mural and that they're committed to keeping it in place.

Souza also noted that having it in Golden Gate Park is an honor to the original stewards of the land: the hawks, the coyotes, the trees, and plants.

The mural is also part of Indigenize SF Project that using murals and walking tours to tell the stories of native people in San Francisco.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.