Best moments from the Alcatraz Canoe Journey 2019


At daybreak on Indigenous People’s Day 2019, in commemoration of 50th anniversary of the 1969 Occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes, indigenous communities from across the West Coast took a historic canoe trip around the island. The flotilla of canoes, including ones made using tule reed, encircled the island before returning to shore at Aquatic Park Cove. Each canoe and persons therein carried forward the legacy of the 1969-1971 Occupation for a new generation.

Here are moments from the milestone trip:

View this post on Instagram

Today, On Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Monday, October 14) canoes representing communities from up and down the West Coast and beyond took to the waters of San Francisco Bay and circled Alcatraz Island to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 occupation • Jonathan Cordero, Chairperson of the Ramaytush Ohlone, gave the following statement of support. “San Francisco is in the ancestral homeland of my people, the Ramaytush Ohlone. Our history—and indeed our current presence—is little known or understood in our own homeland. Alcatraz Canoe Journey honors the 50th anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz and will make plain to the residents of San Francisco that we are still here, and these lands and waters must be preserved and protected for future generations. I have been proud to support this event from the early days of its inception and am excited to see the good that comes out of it for Indigenous peoples everywhere.” • The Alcatraz Canoe Journey committee thanks Chairperson Cordero and the Ohlone People for their support and we look forward to welcoming Indigenous peoples of all nations to the Alcatraz Canoe Journey in years to come • Beyond commemorating 50 years since the occupation of Alcatraz and supporting the Ohlone and Indigenous Peoples in the Bay Area to uplift their narratives, the goal of this journey is to reclaim Alcatraz as a vision, rather than as a penitentiary, for Indigenous sovereignty, rights, and freedom • #IndigenousPeoplesDay2019 #IndigenousRising #ReclaimYourPower #CanoeJourney #AlcatrazCanoeJourney • : @urbannativeera @joeyymontoya

A post shared by Alcatraz Canoe Journey 2019 (@alcatrazcanoe19) on

View this post on Instagram

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day! @alcatrazcanoe19

A post shared by Tricia Rainwater-Tutwiler (@triciarainwaterart) on

View this post on Instagram

“On Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2019, canoes representing tribes, communities and families from as far North as Canada and as far West as Hawaii converged on San Francisco Bay to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz and stood in solidarity for peace, prayer, the water, the land, the air, future generations, Indigenous values, inclusion and a diverse humanity.” - Canoe Journey 2019 website. . . I am grateful for the invitation to witness and document this effort to bring Indigenous history and rights into the public conversation, building upon legacies of courage, oratory and persistence to frame a future where Native people take their rightful seat at the table of public leadership and decision-making. . . Meeting Ruth Orta, Elder of the Himren Ohlone Tribe, and hearing her story was a gift I will treasure always. #alcatraz50 #canoejourney2019 #indigenouspeoplesday #occupyalcatraz #sanfrancisco #paigegreenphotography

A post shared by Paige Green Photography (@paigegreenphoto) on

For more information about the anniversary and events, including the Indians of All Tribes Days on the island as well as the ticketed Thanksgiving Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz, visit the National Park Service website. That site also has a listing of anniversary events throughout San Francisco and beyond, hosted by the Presidio Trust, San Francisco Public Library, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and many more groups.