Indigenous people gather for sunrise


Many Native Americans in attendance participated in ceremonial rituals that helped renew and heal through indigenous cultural practices. When the sun had revealed itself to “the rock,” more commonly known as Alcatraz Island, traditional dance and music greeted the morning light. (Amarah Hernandez/Golden Gate Xpress)

This year marked the 49th annual Indigenous Peoples’ Sunrise Gathering on Alcatraz Island. The yearly tradition represents Native Americans’ resistance to the celebration of Thanksgiving, a holiday that represents the historical erasure of their cultural genocide. More than 4,500 people gathered from all nations to participate in a spiritual ceremony that supports a personal commitment to retaining their culture.