Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Sunrise Gathering @ Alcatraz Island

Unthanksgiving event!

“530 years of Indigenous resistance, cultural resiliency and survival in the Americas”.

On this Thursday morning, before sunrise, hundreds of American Indians – and non-Native allies – will gather on Alcatraz Island for “The Indigenous Peoples Gathering Sunrise Ceremony.”

The annual event is organized by the International Indian Treaty Council.

Indigenous Peoples Thanksgiving Sunrise Gathering
Alcatraz Island.

Coming together to tell truth in history and to celebrate our ancestors, current warriors and the future generations that will carry our spirits.

“…the Indigenous People’s Thanksgiving Sunrise Ceremony, an annual celebration that spotlights 500 years of Native resistance to colonialism in what was dubbed the “New World.” Held on the traditional lands of the Ohlone people, the gathering is a call for remembrance and for future action for Indigenous people and their allies.”





Also in attendance was Lidia Doniz of San José, a member of the Teocalli dance group, which performs Mexica traditional dance.


The annual event began in 1975. Since then, with exception to during the Covid-19 pandemic, American Indians have journeyed from the mainland to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay on Thanksgiving Day. Previously the day was called “Un-Thanksgiving Day.”

According to the United States census, in 2020 there were just over 1.4 million “American Indian and Alaska Native alone or in combination” people in California, representing 3.6% of the population.

Indigenous Peoples Day has been celebrated in the Bay Area since 1992, when Berkeley became the first city in the U.S. to officially celebrate the holiday. The day was intended to be in protest of Columbus Day, which remains the official federal holiday. The state of California has formally recognized Indigenous Peoples Day since 2019. (Read more about the origins of Indigenous Peoples Day in the Bay Area here.)

This year also marks the 53rd anniversary of the loss of San Francisco’s first American Indian Center, which burned down on this day, October 10, in 1969. That event has often been credited with contributing to the Alcatraz Movement: It spurred Indigenous activists to seek a new gathering place, and to establish a new American Indian Center and Native American school on Alcatraz Island.


If you plan to attend:

Meet at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing in san Francisco is the launch site to Alcatraz Island.

All visitors must wear a proper face covering while in the boarding queue at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing and while aboard Alcatraz City Cruises’ ferries.

Alcatraz Landing includes the Ticketbooth and waiting and boarding areas, all of which are accessible. Accessible bathrooms are found at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing and on all Alcatraz Cruises vessels.

Please note: there are no wheelchairs available for loan either at Pier 33 Alcatraz Landing or on Alcatraz Island.

Departure Times:

4:15 am, 4:30 am, 4:45 am, 5:00 am, 5:15 am, 5:30 am, 5:45 am, and 6:00 am.

CLICK for $15 Ticket Information.


Latest news:


On Oct. 10, Tribal Nations friends and family convened on Alcatraz Island for the annual Indigenous Peoples Day Sunrise Gathering to acknowledge 530 years of resistance to genocide, honor those who have passed on and celebrate all who continue to fight for Indigenous people.

The event, hosted by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), has been held since 1975 to commemorate the 1969-1971 occupation of Alcatraz by the Tribes of All Nations, which kicked off the American Indian Civil Rights Movement.

With a significant gaming initiative on the November ballot that, if passed, would negatively impact contracts already agreed upon between most of the Tribal Nations in California and the State, this year’s Sunrise Gathering was significant for members of California’s tribal nations.




Support International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) during National Native American Heritage Month!

Please take this opportunity [see link below] to give a tax-deductible gift that will directly contribute toward IITC’s work for the Sovereignty and Self-Determination of Indigenous Peoples and the recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties, Traditional Cultures, and Sacred Lands.

Thank you for joining with us to commemorate National Native American Heritage Month 2022! You can help us to make this campaign a huge success by sharing this message with your friends and family. Please support IITC’s work for the rights of Indigenous Peoples this month and every month:

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