FBI Releases 55-Year-Old Documents Regarding Native Americans Occupying Alcatraz Island, Reveals U.S. Army Refused To Collaborate With Authorities

The FBI recently released 55-year-old documents regarding Native Americans occupying Alcatraz Island in 1969

The released files published in the FBI’s Vault revealed the inner communications of the FBI when over 200 Native Americans occupied Alcatraz island as a form of protest.

The occupation lasted for 19 months between the years 1969-1971.

The FBI, in its internal communications, stated that the Indians were “very friendly” and further wrote that ” the demonstration and occupation have been and continue to be peaceful.”


Shortly after the Indians were removed from the island, a group of Native Americans decided to occupy the inactive Nike nuclear site in San Pablo, California.

On page 23 of the FBI’s declassified file was an FBI memo explaining how the U.S. Army refused to participate in providing logistical support to the Chief of Police of Richmond as his department planned to make arrests.

The memo stated, “On June 15, 1971, Chief of Police, Richmond, California, advised the Indians at the Nike missile site were not arrested as planned because he had expected the U.S. Army would supply logistical support and have refused to do so.”

“Officials and local authorities of Richmond, California, are unhappy that they are being required to function alone,” the memo continued.

The FBI also noted, “The Chief of Police, Richmond, indicated on June 15, 1971, he may make a press release about the lack of cooperation of the military.”


The move by the U.S. Army to refuse to participate in the arrest of the protestors was a wise choice, considering the occupation came just one year after the Kent State shootings.

After the Indians were dispersed and arrested by local authorities for trespassing on the Nike missile site, the U.S. Army deployed sentries and secured the site.


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