The occupation of Alcatraz Island by American Indians from November 20, 1969, through June 11, 1971, focused the attention of the world on Native Americans and helped develop pan-Indian activism. In this detailed examination of the takeover, Troy R. Johnson tells the story of those who organized the occupation and those who participated, some by living on the island and others by soliciting donations of money, food, water, clothing, and other necessities.
Johnson documents the unrest in the Bay Area urban Indian population that helped spur the takeover and draws on interviews with those involved to describe everyday life on Alcatraz during the nineteen-month occupation. In describing the federal government’s reactions as Americans rallied in support of the Indians, he turns to federal government archives and Nixon administration files. The book is a must-read for historians and others interested in the civil rights era, Native American history, and contemporary American Indian issues.