Exhibit: Before the Occupation of Alcatraz

A Brief History of Native Americans in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
Event detail

The Occupation of Alcatraz  took hold in November of 1969 and lasted nineteen months. The United States government incarcerated American Indians at Alcatraz as early as 1873. Learn about some of the events in federal history that led up to the Occupation of Alcatraz.

This small-scale exhibit highlights some of the controversies that occurred between the federal government and Native Americans. Examples are shown through government documents as primary sources.

Please also join us at noon on Saturday November 9th, 2019 for an afternoon with Ilka Hartmann. Ms. Hartmann, a freelance photographer, will talk about her time spent with the occupiers of Alcatraz in 1971.

Photo caption:  Hopi Prisoners at Alcatraz, January 1895. Arrested for "seditious conduct." Back row, left to right: unidentified, Polingyouma (Polingyaoma), Hahvema (Hebima), Masatewa (Masatiwa), Quoyahoinema. 2nd row: Kochventewa (Kochiventiwa), Beephongwa (Piephungwa), Poolegoiva, Lomahongyoma, Lomanankwosa, Kochadah (Lomayoshtiwa), Yukioma. Front row: Tubewohyoma, Yoda, Patupha, Kochyouma (Kochyaoma), Soukhongva, Sekaneptewa (Sikaheptiwa), Karshongnewa.

Digital image credits:  Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College Library; and the Hopi Cultural Center, Second Mesa, AZ.

Join the Library's celebration honoring the voices of Indigenous and native peoples for National American Indian Heritage Month.

One City One Book is San Francisco's annual citywide literary event, encouraging our community to read the same book at the same time and then discuss it in book groups and events throughout the City.
In 2019, we're reading There There by Tommy Orange.
Find out more at: One City One Book.

Current Exhibits

Exhibit: Occupy Alcatraz!
Through Thursday, January 2, 2020
Main Library, Skylight Gallery
All That Glitters Is Not Gold:
Through Thursday, January 2, 2020
Main Library, San Francisco History Center
The Native Reclamation of Alcatraz Island, 1969
Through Thursday, January 9, 2020
Main Library, Magazines & Newspapers Center 5th Fl
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