Sec. Haaland Visits Alcatraz; Island Proclaimed Birthplace of Red Power Movement
November 22, 2021
SAN FRANCISCO - Today Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) made a special trip to Alcatraz Island, to meet with some of the original occupiers of the 1969-1971 Occupation of Alcatraz, known as the Indians of All Tribes. They were there to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the occupation of the island.
Haaland spoke for over an hour about her heritage, and what it personally meant to her to visit the site of the first major civil rights event for American Indians. Today, the National Parks Service proclaimed Alcatraz to be the birthplace of the Red Power Movement.
"I stand today on the shoulders of those courageous warriors who took a valiant stand against racism, injustice, poverty, lack of housing, jobs, education, food on the many different reservations across the United States," she said in a speech to the press and event participants. "It humbles me now to know of all that they suffered so that I could stand here today as the first Native American woman to serve as the Secretary of the Interior. The time is right for change to happen for American Indians in this country. We stand united in our defense of our lands, our waters, our people, and our sacred places."