Ranger Craig

On Alcatraz (part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area) our (un)Columbus Day starts early – at 5am about 800 American Indians and supporters head to the Rock for a sunrise gathering sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council. This year’s gathering was also marking the 40th anniversary of the occupation by Indians of All Tribes that saved the tribes (who in 1969 were being destroyed by the federal Termination program – as a result of their 18 month occupation Nixon established a new policy of self determination, began to return thousands of acres of land stolen with an apology, and a number of other reforms). That’s been my Columbus Day tradition for the last 17 years as a National Park Ranger on Alcatraz. A similar event happens each Thanksgiving but with thousands rather than hundreds.