Alcatraz Canoe Journey to honor 50th anniversary of Alcatraz Occupation

While canoes representing tribes from up and down the West Coast circle Alcatraz Island to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 occupation, tribal colors representing all indigenous nations will be posted on the beach at Aquatic Park in San Francisco.

“We were thinking about ways that tribes who aren’t able to come out for Alcatraz Canoe Journey could still show their support and solidarity,” said Eloy Martinez, an activist, Alcatraz veteran and one of the organizers of Alcatraz Canoe Journey.

According to Ed Archie NoiseCat, artist and organizing committee member, “Plans to post the eagle staff turned into plans to post colors for all tribal nations, whether they are bringing a canoe or not. Alcatraz isn’t just a catalyzing moment in the Indigenous rights movement that needs to be remembered. It’s also a beacon that carries us forward into the future.”

Indigenous families and communities are traveling with their canoes in tow from as far North as British Columbia and as far West as Hawaii. Canoes will be welcomed into the Bay Area by Ohlone elder Ruth Orta, speaking on behalf of the original inhabitants of the Bay Area who were decimated by genocide and now working to reclaim identity, sovereignty and culture.

Alcatraz Canoe Journey is scheduled to launch at 6 a.m. from Aquatic Park in San Francisco on Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 14, 2019. Tribes wanting to post their colors can reach out to the committee at for instructions on where to send their flag.


Alcatraz Canoe Journey is a fiscally sponsored project of MarinLink, a California non profit corporation exempt from federal tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service #20-0879422.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s