Remembering the Native American Occupation of Alcatraz

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A tule boat preparing for a sail around Alcatraz Island on Oct. 14, 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Native American occupation at Alcatraz. (Alice Woelfle/KQED)

52 years ago this month, a group of Native Americans began to occupy Alcatraz to assert their right to self-determination. The 19-month long occupation is still known as one of the most important actions in contemporary Native American history and in the fight for American Indian civil rights.

On Indigenous Peoples' Day in 2019, Native people from across the West Coast gathered in San Francisco for a ceremonial canoe journey to Alcatraz Island.


This episode originally aired on Oct. 16, 2019.

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