ZigZag has this up on the American Indian protest at Alcatraz on Thanksgiving. Bet you didn’t hear about that on the media, eh? But you’ve hear plenty on Colin Kaepernick…note that his T-shirt has a picture of Sitting Bull, the great chief/medicine man of the Hunkpapa Lakota. Now I am always cautious of celebrity status individuals coming to the Indians because those that came to Standing Rock, in my honest opinion, were there for a photo-op and their own publicity. Colin, I hope, is different. Knowing that the media is heavily controlled now, I am even suspicious of those that are publicized in a negative way.
For the younger viewers, Alcatraz was occupied in the 1970s to protest ongoing harassment of the Natives. Indeed, the first book I read by a Native American, Chief Wilma Pearl Mankiller, featured her and others occupying the island because in the many (broken) treaties, Indians were supposed to be allowed to regain control of Federal land that had been abandoned. Alcatraz had been abandoned as a prison, therefore, the American Indians felt it within their rights to occupy it. Yeah, not so fast.
If I recall correctly, they held the spot for two years before being forced off. Richard Oakes, mentioned in the above article, was paramount for Alcatraz.
Below is actual footage of the proclamation by Richard Oakes. This, for the younger readers, is how media used to be — actual coverage of events and allowing the people to speak instead of talking heads flapping their gums overtalking the people. Hearing Native Americans speak on camera was HUGE because it dispelled what we had been taught — that Indians were savages.
This was also seen as a huge threat to the powers-that-be because they were wanting to reclaim their culture — their spirituality, their language, their respect of women, their respect of nature — all that was beaten out of them.
More 70s footage here, that explains a little more: