American Indian activists occupy Alcatraz Island

(106 words)

Historical Context Note


From the 20th of November, 1969 till the 11th of June, 1971, a diverse grouping of Native Americans occupied Alcatraz Island, which was no longer used as a federal prison and lay largely abandoned. The group claimed the island as theirs under 'right of discovery', and proposed plans to build an education center, an ecology center, and a Museum to honour the culture of America's indigenous people. The occupiers were also protesting at the US government's long term policy of attempting to assimilate and disregard Native American culture and rights. The protest was ended forcibly by the authorities, but became an inspiration to other Native American protest movements.

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Related Groups

  1. First Peoples in North America