On November 20th, 1969 a group of Indian students, and urban Indians from the Bay Area led by Richard Oakes landed on Alcatraz Island claiming it as "Indian Land" (Johnson). This was a multi-tribal group and so they adopted the name "Indians of All Tribes" (Johnson). The 1969 landing and subsequent 19 month occupation was not the first attempt at an occupation; it was however the last and the longest in a string of 3 attempts (Winton). This Occupation would have a significant effect on the Native American rights movement and also a profound effect on the Country as a whole.
The First attempt was made on March 9, 1964. It was led by Sioux Indian, Richard McKenzie, 5 others of his tribe, and accompanied by their lawyer (Eagle). They claimed the land under the Black Hills Treaty of 1868, which stated
"And it is further stipulated that any male Indians, over eighteen years of age, of any band or tribe that is or who shall hereafter become a party to this treaty, who now is or shall hereafter become a resident or occupant of any reservation or territory no included in the tract of country designated which is not mineral land, nor reserved by the United States for any special purposes other than Indian occupation Shall be entitled to receive from the United States a patent" on the land (Eagle).
This meant that if the government didn't want the land the Sioux could have it. And this was the case. A presidential commission had found that no federal agency could find a practical use for the prison (Eagle). This Occupation however lasted only about 4 hours but it was not unsuccessful, the demands and basis for these demands (Black Hills treaty) made by McKenzie would resurface again in the 2 subsequent occupations led by Oakes (Johnson).
On November 9th 1969 Richard Oakes began his occupation with a handful of supporters (Johnson). They soon realized that a full... [continues]
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