This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Native American occupation of Alcatraz, an abandoned federal prison located in San Francisco Bay. In 1969, Native Americans, including members of the American Indian Movement, took over the island from November 1969 to June 1971. The Native Americans claimed it as “Indian land under the Treaty of Fort Laramie“.
The occupation lasted 19 months and ended with the occupiers forced off the island. The event became a watershed for the Native American civil rights movement. The incident eventually led to the return of millions of acres of ancestral land and numerous proposals supporting tribal self rule.
Ironically, Alcatraz Island is now one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco.