You Are Now on Indian Land

The American Indian Occupation of Alcatraz Island, California, 1969

From the Series Civil Rights Struggles around the World

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 9

On the night of November 20, 1969, ninety-two Native Americans sailed silently across the San Francisco Bay toward the island of Alcatraz. They intended to reclaim the land for Indian people and to establish a community on Alcatraz. By the time the sun rose, they had settled onto the island and made their intentions clear: a large sign read, “You Are Now on Indian Land. When the U.S. government discovered the occupation of Alcatraz, the U.S. Coast Guard blockaded the island. Yet more Native Americans found ways onto Alcatraz, coming from as far away as Canada and South America. During the nineteen-month occupation, Native Americans kept arriving, and Alcatraz became a community with a health clinic, a school, and even its own newspaper. Actors and singers visited the island, and boats dropped off donated supplies. Throughout negotiations with the government, the Native Americans refused to leave; instead, they fought to establish a permanent complex for their people. In this fascinating story of a people’s determination, we’ll explore what led Native Americans to stage an occupation of Alcatraz and how the standoff with the federal government ended. We’ll also see how this event inspired other Native American activists around the country to lead their own demonstrations and fight for American Indian rights.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 9
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity
Copyright 2011
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 160
Publication Date 2011-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 9.2
BISACS YAN025220, YAN038140, YAN051180
Dewey 323.1197
Graphics 1-color illustrations, Full-color illustrations
Lexile 1030
ATOS Reading Level 8.1
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 142179
Accelerated Reader® Points 5.0
Features Awards, Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Maps, Source notes, Table of contents, and Timeline


  • Pennsylvania School Librarians Association Young Adult Top Forty, Winner, 2011

Author: Margaret J. Goldstein

Margaret J. Goldstein was born in Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan. She is an editor and the author of many books for young readers. She lives in Palm Springs, California.