occupation of wounded knee

The Occupation of Alcatraz - Celebrate People’s History

From November 1969 to June 1971 a collection of American Indian students and urban Indians, calling themselves Indians of All Tribes,occupied Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco as a call to resistance against U.S. domination of Native peoples and land. The coalition publicized the occupation through a widely distributed newsletter and a radio show broadcast in multiple cities. This action sparked years of Native resistance, including the 1972 takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington D.C. and the re-occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973.

Madonna Thunderhawk  is a part of the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and a co-founder of American Indian Movement. She is an Elder in one of the highest regards within the indigenous community. In the late 60’s and 70’s she participated in frontline actions most notably the Alcatraz occupation in ‘69, Mount Rushmore occupation in ’71, and the Wounded Knee siege in ’73.


The occupation and blockade of Wounded Knee began as a demonstration for Lakota rights organized by members of the AIM. For the Lakota people, the community has great significance. In 1890, Wounded Knee was the site of a major clash between the Lakota and the United States Army, an event many consider to be the end of the Indian Wars.