Colin Kaepernick speaks at Native American ‘Un-Thanksgiving Day’ held on Alcatraz and criticizes US government ‘for stealing 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people’

  • The former 49ers star was at the Indigenous People Sunrise Ceremony Thursday
  • He later tweeted footage of him speaking at the event, which honors ‘Indians of All Tribes’ who took part in the Occupation of Alcatraz back in 1969-71 
  • ‘It’s our responsibility to honor our ancestors and elders,’ he told the crowd
  • He later tweeted that the US government ‘has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land’
  • Kaepernick has not played since 2016 when he sparked a wave of protests by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality 

Colin Kaepernick spent the holiday at a Native American ‘Un-Thanksgiving Day’ on Alcatraz, later criticizing the US government ‘for stealing 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people’. 

The former San Francisco 49ers star mixed with crowds at the annual Indigenous People Sunrise Ceremony, telling them ‘it’s our responsibility to honor our ancestors and honor our elders’. 

He later tweeted footage from the event, which honors ‘Indians of All Tribes’ who took part in the Occupation of Alcatraz back in 1969-71. Actor Danny Glover also appears to have attended. 

In the clip Kaepernick, who also attended the event in 2017, tells the crowds: ‘It’s been 50 years since the occupation.

‘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.’  

Colin Kaepernick spent the holiday at a Native American 'Un-Thanksgiving Day' on Alcatraz

Colin Kaepernick spent the holiday at a Native American ‘Un-Thanksgiving Day’ on Alcatraz

He criticized the US government 'for stealing 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people'

He criticized the US government ‘for stealing 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people’

He later tweeted: ‘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 to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.’  

Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl seven years ago, has not played since 2016 when he sparked a wave of protests and divisive debate by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.  

People gather at Alcatraz Island for the Indigenous People's Sunrise Ceremony, or Un-Thanksgiving Day, on Thursday. The event honors 'Indians of All Tribes' who took part in the Occupation of Alcatraz back in 1969-71

People gather at Alcatraz Island for the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony, or Un-Thanksgiving Day, on Thursday. The event honors ‘Indians of All Tribes’ who took part in the Occupation of Alcatraz back in 1969-71

Actor Danny Glover, center, also appears to have been at the event over Thanksgiving

Actor Danny Glover, center, also appears to have been at the event over Thanksgiving

He also retweeted a link to a Washington Post article which looked at the ‘racist roots of our national celebration’. 

Kaepernick posted Christopher Petrella’s tweet, which read: ‘Antebellum campaigns to establish Thanksgiving as nat’l holiday grew up alongside colonizationist efforts to remove free Black people from U.S. 

‘Nationalization advocates mobilized white fears of Black equality to build support for holiday.’

Kaepernick drew strong criticism from President Donald Trump and many others for his peaceful demonstration, and eventually sued the league for colluding to keep him out. 

The NFL in February settled the collusion grievance Kaepernick and former teammate Eric Reid had filed. Reid now plays for the Carolina Panthers.  

Kaepernick has reportedly not received any interest from NFL teams after organizing his own private workout for scouts on November 16 outside Atlanta. 

Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl seven years ago, has not played since 2016 when he sparked a wave of protests and divisive debate by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He is pictured in 2016

Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl seven years ago, has not played since 2016 when he sparked a wave of protests and divisive debate by kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. He is pictured in 2016

WHAT WAS THE OCCUPATION OF ALCATRAZ?

The infamous site of the former prison was occupied by 89 Native Americans and their supporters from 1969-71. 

Protesters hung banners which read: ‘Peace and Freedom. Welcome. Home of the Free Indian Land.’ 

The protesters, led by Richard Oakes and LaNada Means, lived on the island together until they were removed by the U.S. government. Their numbers reached more than 600 people at its peak. 

They said Alcatraz was theirs ‘by right of discovery’. 

Leader Oakes said at the time: ‘If a one day occupation by white men on Indian land years ago established squatter’s rights then the one day occupation of Alcatraz should establish Indian rights to the island.’

President Richard Nixon said in 1970: ‘The time has come for a new era in which the Indian future is determined by Indian acts and Indian decisions.’ 

People now meet at Alcatraz every November since 1975 for an ‘Un-Thanksgiving Day’. 

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