Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
SAN FRANCISCO While the nation celebrates the lost Italian sailor, San Francisco Bay area American Indians celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day annually. For the past 30 years, the community has journeyed to Alcatraz Island – an island considered sacred by many because it is an island where Ohlone ancestors held ceremonies for centuries.
On Monday, the annual journey to Alcatraz Island will be a victim of the bitter budget struggle in Washington that closed down on October 1. Since Alcatraz Island is operated by the National Park Service, the island is closed.
Instead the American Indian community will have a sun rise gathering on Monday, October 14, at the regular annual launching to Alcatraz Island at Pier #31 in San Francisco from 6:00 am until 8:00 am.
At 8:00 am a walk will head toward Washington Square Park in the North Beach area of the city. Several groups of people will assemble there to begin a walk at 9:30 pm to walk to the statue of the lost sailor near Coit Tower. The group is calling for a process to begin the removal of the statue because of what this person symbolizes to Indigenous peoples of the Americas.
The event will be covered by radio KPFA in conjunction with the American Indian Movement and other organizations.
Traditional dancing and various speakers will be on the program.
“The theme includes addressing 521 years of toll taken by the Indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere, the forced removal from traditional lands, violation of treaty rights, and desecration of burial and sacred sites, to name a few,”
commented Tony Gonzales, director of AIM-West.
The sunrise event is sponsored by AIM-West, Occupy, students and allies in solidarity with Indigenous peoples.
posted October 12, 2013 6:20 am edt