Home Secretary Haaland to visit Alcatraz to commemorate Native American occupation – CBS San Francisco


SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – More than half a century after Native American activists occupied Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, US Home Secretary Deb Haaland will visit the island on Saturday to discuss recent progress made between Aboriginal communities and the federal government.

In his remarks, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., Haaland will highlight recent investments to strengthen tribal communities, replace aging infrastructure and mitigate the effects of climate change.

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Haaland’s visit comes just days after President Joe Biden spoke with leaders of 574 federally recognized tribes for the White House Tribal Nations Summit.

Haaland’s visit marks the 52nd anniversary of the occupation of Alcatraz Island.

A sign reading ‘Indians Welcome’ to ‘Indian Land’ during the demonstration of the occupation of Alcatraz on Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, December 1969. A group of Native Americans and their supporters occupied the island and demanded the return of unoccupied federal lands to the tribes who once lived there. (Photo by Soloman Kargin / Pix / Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images)

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On November 20, 1969, dozens of Indigenous activists occupied the island, demanding that the federal government establish a cultural center and university on the island for Native Americans. The occupation lasted over a year and a half, ending on June 11, 1971.

Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe of New Mexico, is the first Native American to serve as secretary to the United States cabinet.

Haaland officially declared “squaw” a derogatory term on Friday and said she was taking steps to remove it from use by the federal government and to replace other derogatory place names.

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