November 23, 2007

Return to Alcatraz

Native Americans Hold Annual Sunrise Ceremony at AlcatrazAn estimated 1,000 Native Americans and their supporters gathered on Alcatraz Island this morning for their annual Thanksgiving Sunrise Ceremony.

The event commemorates the birth of the modern American Indian civil rights movement, which gained national prominence when a group of San Francisco State students occupied the former prison site in 1969 and 1970.

"We consider it relighting the fire of Indian survival, Indian resistance here in this hemisphere. To remind people that first of all, John Wayne didn't kill us all. That we're still alive, distinct cultures that are thriving here in America,” explained Bill Means, a Lakota and one of the founders of the International Indian Treaty Council.

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