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"We Hold the Rock!"

-Indians of All Tribes

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(Photo credit: Turtle Island Productions Website)

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Alcatraz Occupation

In November 1969, a historic event occurred in the San Francisco Bay which would leave a profound impact on the lives of all Native American people. Beginning on November 9, Native Americans met to plan the reclaiming Alcatraz Island in the name of all Indian people. In the early morning hours of November 20th, approximately 90 Native American students and community members gathered in Sausalito and launched the journey to occupy and reclaim the island from the US government.

Led by university students Richard Oakes, La Nada (Means) Boyer, Al Miller, and others, the occupation of Alcatraz Island set in motion what would later be termed the "Red Power" movement of the 1970s.

With local, national, and international support, a growing number of Indians settled in for a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz intent on bringing international attention to the social and political struggles facing American Indians. In June 1971, US Marshals forcibly removed the remaining Native American occupants. Although the physical occupation ended, the movement which Alcatraz ignited continues today.

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