Colin Kaepernick with Morning Star Gali. Photograph by Norm Sands
Published November 30, 2019
ALCATRAZ ISLAND — Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49er quarterback, spent the early morning hours on Thursday on Alcatraz Island where several thousand American Indians conducted the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony. This year’s ceremony commemorated the 50th Occupation of Alcatraz that began November 20, 1969.
While at the ceremony, he was asked to say a few remarks.
“It’s been 50 years since the occupation,” Kaepernick told the crowd. “And that struggle has continued for that 50 years … It’s our responsibility to honor our ancestors and honor our elders by carrying on that struggle. Don’t let their sacrifices be in vain. That’s why it’s important for all of us to be here today — to show that we’re together, that we’re unified, that we have that solidarity. And I hope to spend many more of these with you.”
After the ceremony, Kaepernick posted: “Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you my Indigenous family. I’m with you today and always.”
It was Kaepernick’s second visit to Alcatraz Island on Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony. Two years ago, he was honored at the Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony by longtime American Indian Movement activist Fred Short.
Colin Keapernick with Morning Star Gali
“He stated that he looks forward to attending many more sunrise gatherings with us as our fight continues to be the same,” said organizer Morning Star Gali.
During the Standing Rock resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline, in December 2016, Kaepernick gave $50,000 to the the Mni Wiconi Health Clinic Partnership to fund medical treatment.
Thursday’s event was sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council.