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Alcatraz is Not an Island
Reclaiming Native Land

Co-presented by:

The People

Find out what really happened on Alcatraz from the people who were there during the occupation, and learn what they're doing today.

Download RealPlayer to watch video clips.

Adam Fortunate Eagle

Adam Fortunate Eagle (Red Lake Chippewa) was one of the leaders of the United Bay Area Council of American Indian Affairs. Now retired from self-employment, he lives with his wife Bobbie in Nevada and is an artist and author.

video clip Adam talks about the idea to take over Alcatraz.
Video and Text: MODEM | DSL/T1

Dr. LaNada Boyer

Dr. LaNada Boyer (Bannock) is from the Fort Hall reservation in Idaho. As the first Native American student at UC Berkeley, she played a lead role in the establishment of Native American Studies in 1968. As Chair of the Indian student group from UC Berkeley, she coordinated with Richard Oakes in the takeover of Alcatraz Island and maintained a strong leadership role throughout the 19 month occupation. Later she completed her Doctorate of Arts degree in political science as the first member of her tribe to attain a doctorate level education.

video clip LaNada talks about her night on the island during the first 1969 landing.
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Richard Oakes

Richard Oakes (Mohawk) was an iron worker before he became a student at San Francisco State University. He was a key occupation leader until his 13-year old daughter fell to her death on the island. After leaving Alcatraz, he continued to work on behalf of Native people; he was shot and killed at the age of 30 in 1972.

video clip Richard reads from a letter of demand to the federal government at the November 9, 1969 landing on Alcatraz.
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Millie Ketcheshawno

Millie Ketcheshawno (Mvskoke Creek) was born in Oklahoma and relocated to Oakland in the late 1950s. Associated with the United Council during the occupation, she completed the UC Berkeley film program and became a filmmaker and screenwriter. She passed away in August 2000.

video clip Millie talks about joining the occupation.
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Denise Quitiquit

Denise Quitiquit quickly joined in the occupation as a young college student, moving to the island and devoting months of her life to the cause. Today, she is still active in Native Amerian rights struggles and community affairs and activism.

video clip Denise talks about women's roles on Alcatraz.
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John Trudell

John Trudell (Sioux) was born and raised near the Santee Sioux reservation in Nebraska, and was studying radio and television programming at UCLA before joining the occupation. He soon emerged as a media spokesman for the occupiers of Alcatraz. He also was known as "the voice of Alcatraz" due to his regular radio program "Radio Free Alcatraz," which was broadcast from Berkeley and Los Angeles. John eventually was directly involved with the negotiations between the occupiers, known as Indians of All Tribes, Inc. and the federal government. The national chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979, Trudell is a published poet and songwriter.

video clip John talks about the June 1970 fire on Alcatraz Island that destroyed the warden's quarter's, the doctor's quarters and the quarters around the lighthouse.
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Don Patterson

Don Patterson (Tonkawa) was born and raised in a tribal community in Oklahoma. He relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s and was chairman of the San Francisco Indian Center's board of directors during the occupation. He is currently president of the Tonkawa Tribe in Oklahoma.

video clip Don talks about Indian people learning about their heritage and joining the occupation.
Video and Text: MODEM | DSL/T1

Reclaiming Native Land | Alcatraz | Indian Activism | Talkback | The Filmmakers
Resources | For Educators | Broadcast | ITVS

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