Attending the Indigenous people sunrise ceremony this year. Also known as Unthanksgiving Day on Alcatraz Island.
Ar Pier 33 dozens of people gather together in a tradition 4 decades in the making. On Nov. 20 1969 American Indians from all tribes claimed Alcatraz Island as their land. For almost two years the people could not be moved. They built homes, gathered as one nation, and took back the land of their ancestors according to Richard Oakes.
Now, 40 years later, the people gather together once again to honor the memory of those people and all that they stood for. Held on what some indigenous people call “Unthanksgiving Day”, the Sunrise Ceremony is an event held annually to commemorate the occupation in the late 60’s.
With traditional dancing, rituals, and prayers, the many tribes of Northern California do their part to celebrate their heritage. They stand against what they feel is the tyranny of people who they felt cheated them out of their land many years ago. The sounds of the Miwok singers and the calling out of the names of the original occupiers of Alcatraz, American Indians ushered in a new era of resistance.