Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
ALCATRAZ ISLAND - Before the sun rose on Thanksgiving morning, hundreds of American Indians arrived to at Pier 33 to take boats over to Alcatraz Island to for "The Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony." On Alcatraz, the group drummed, sang and heard speakers offer prayers of thanks.
Since 1975, American Indians have gone to Alcatraz Island on Thanksgiving to commemorate the loss of life sustained by American Indians as the result of Europeans coming to this continent.
This year special guest Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, was one of the featured speakers. The seventy five year old, Bellecourt, a tribal citizen of the White Earth Ojibwe Tribe, said he was honored to be part of the program.
"Where ever I go I like to tell people that we have Thanksgiving every day of the week,"
said Bellecourt as he recalled gathering of wild rice and hauling in fish when fishermen arrived back from fishing.
Alcatraz Island has remained historic to contemporary American Indians because it was occupied by the Alcatraz Red Power Movement group for 19 months beginning November 20, 1969, to June 11, 1971. The group consisted of members of several American Indian tribes. Alcatraz has become symbolic of modern struggles of Indian people.
posted November 26, 2011 12:20 pm est
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