See also the Thanksgiving Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering in November.
Note for 2020: The organizers have announced that for 2020 this will not be a public event, but will instead be broadcast on kpfa.org and on KPFA 94.1 FM on Monday, October 12, 2020 from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM.
Alcatraz Indigenous People’s Day Sunrise Gathering 2019
Date: Monday, October 18, 2010
Departure: Alcatraz Pier 33 Ferry Terminal
Insiders Tip: Tickets for this event sell out many years. If you plan to get up super early and go, we recommend buying tickets in advance to avoid being disappointed.
Each year on the morning of Indigenous People’s Day (which is an alternative celebration on historical Columbus Day) Alcatraz is closed for the day for regular visitors, but from 4:45 AM till 6:00 AM the ferries run every 15 minutes and bring people to the island to celebrate the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering. After the event the ferries run from Pier 33 until the last sailing at 8:45 AM, when all visitors must leave Alcatraz.
Tickets cost $14 per person and are free for kids under 5.
The box office opens at 4:15 AM that morning, or you can buy tickets online here and avoid the (highly probable) risk of the event selling out. If it does sell out only a very small number of tickets will be available the morning of the ceremony.
The event honors the occupation of Alcatraz by Indians of All Tribes in 1969-71, which focused attention on discrimination, land rights and living conditions of Indians in the United States on a day dedicated to celebrating the arrival of Europeans.
For some Native Americans it has further personal significance as a celebration of their personal relationship with nature.
The event is open to anyone who wants to come. The video below is from the 2010 version of the event.