1969: ‘Indians of All Tribes’ group occupies Alcatraz Island
A group of 78 Indians calling themselves Indians of All Tribes lands on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and begins to occupy it in a demonstration for the rights of American Indians. Indians of All Tribes draws on powerful historic precedents of Native peoples taking a stand for the return of illegally taken lands, and they also usher in a new activist movement that draws attention with its mix of radicalism and American Indian traditionalism.
“We moved onto Alcatraz Island because we feel that Indian people need a cultural center of their own. For several decades, Indian people have not had enough control of training their young people. And without a cultural center of their own, we are afraid that the old Indian ways may be lost. We believe that the only way to keep them alive is for Indian people to do it themselves.” —Letter from Indians of All Tribes, December 16, 1969
- Land and Water, Native Rights