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In a concert in a man you left them left right and you left them there lamb and what have you done to these ones? Have a change come about on both of them or I've been taken out of them. A treaty forever short watching from side he did a dear lady, he did a dear man. And the treaty is being broken by it will go down and what will you do for these ones? By it's all in the past you can say but it's still trying to re-establish our contact with our transmitter on Alcatraz, this is not the first time we've had some difficulty, it may be a difficulty with a generator getting started to get the transmitter going. I think we've got them now so let's go to Alcatraz.
Good evening, this is John Fidel, welcome to the YouTube Radio Free Alcatraz Indian land of Trans Island. And we had a little difficulty with the transmitter but it's all been taken care of. Tonight we have with us Mr. Bernell Blindman, who's a sue from Pine Ridge South Dakota and also I believe for now your student at Berkeley right. Yes, how long have you been at Berkeley? For two quarters now, what are you majoring in? Social welfare, why social welfare? Well I'd like to help the Indians as much as possible. I forget this might be one way of doing it. All right, here from the Pine Ridge Reservation you have lived there, right? Yes, how long did you live there? Four about four years of school. And how long did you leave? In June, okay, if you want to, you're majoring in social welfare, as I imagined in that part of this is because of what you saw on the reservation in Pine Ridge.
Yes, now I heard that one time that the Pine Ridge sue, I believe this was in the last part of the 50s, was the poorest tribe of Indians in the United States. I believe at the time they were with $19.22 something like that for a person. Yeah, I've never been to Pine Ridge and I've been to the Rose Blood Reservation, and my reservation, Sue Resvations in Nebraska, and I know how conditions are there. But how are the work opportunities at Pine Ridge or Indian people? There isn't any work on a reservation. All right, here's one thing I'd like to clear up. I know this used to happen to me. People find out I'm Indian and they would tell me how lucky I was because I had the government to take care of me. Somewhere along the line they believe that I used to get these fantastic checks of great amounts of money to just do with as I pleased. This isn't true, is it? No. Not on the reservation.
I know at home on our reservation the older people live on social security and government commodities. That's about all they live on on the reservation too, most people. Except the people who work for the welfare. Now the Pine Ridge also didn't the government set up new housing there several years back through their four years ago. Yes, but most of them are set up for the people who work for the government because they get a four to pay for it. Well, I was under the impression that this was set up for the benefit of the Indian people. This was free housing for the people of the reservation. Well, that's what they said, but they still have to pay for it. It's like that gun factory in Montana. What do they charge for housing with this new housing? I think it's from 20 to $30,000 to buy the house. Yes. Where are we going to get that kind of money?
That's what bothers the Indian. I heard that there were several of the older people who wouldn't move in to the houses. They didn't want to be shut up in the cage or something. I'm not really that familiar with it. All right, then why did you leave the reservation? Well, I thought coming out here would be better learning more about the white people's way than going back and help me. Well, then basically, if you're going to compete in the white man's world, you've got to learn the white man's ways. Yes. Yeah, that's very true. All right, now on the Alcatraz, how long have you been on Alcatraz? Ever since the first land and how long do you plan on staying? Till we get it, do you perceive?
Do you think that the government will give it to us? Yes, I do. With all the support and everything, we're getting right. I think that we'll get it. All right, what does this Alcatraz, the whole movement mean to you? What possible opportunities do you see for us by having Alcatraz? Well, I feel that the Indian should have it because of what the proposal stands for and the Indian need something. And I think that Alcatraz is the thing they need. It's, well, like has been said many times before that this is an opportunity for us to unite. And so that is good. It's a matter of fact with this radio free Alcatraz thing here.
We're going to be linking up with the reservations in the United States and also with the Indians in the urban areas so that we can work together. Because like right now we've got the arrow. Now we bring the people from the reservations and from the urban areas together we put a point on the arrow. And then we can start getting some work done. All right, this is what the end of a new decade and we spent 70 years now. But another five hours, four and a half hours. We spent all of this century kind of being ignored. Do you see a lot of hope for us in the 70s? Yes, I do. Well, I think I shouldn't have even asked that question because just by what we're doing here. Now this brings the shows that we have got hope and that there are things that we can't work for in the 70s that we've got a means to do it.
The Indians have always been pushed around and this is the first time that they ever tried something for themselves. And I think this is good for them. It's a very good experience. We're learning how to work together which we haven't had this experience in the past. And I know a lot of people when this first happened, a lot of people were under the impression that it had a romantic meaning to them. They looked at it very romantically. How neat the Indians are going on camping on the island of Elkhutras and taking it over and trying to take it away from the government. But what many of them fail to really realize is the fact that living on this island is just like living on the reservation as far as modern conveniences and the luxuries of life go. How many Indians on your reservation only $30,000 homes? Not very many of them.
What type of work is there there? There isn't any except ranching and not only tasting about $5 a day. And that's just seasonal work, right? Yes. I know we had the same thing we could hire out as farm hands. There aren't many ranches in Nebraska and the area that my reservation is, but they would hire us as farm hands. And we would work from sun up till sundown for $6 a day and the new meal. And although they didn't take any tax deductions from it, but still $48 at the end of what? $42 at the end of about seven days a week or something like this. You know, that's not much bread. You can't it's very hard to support a family on that time to money. Yeah. All let me see. This, this, this happened with the Pine Ridge Reservation, I believe, to deal about young Thomas White Hawk. The guy that got sent to the death.
He got sent to the, what his gas chambers off Dakota. The military chair sent to the electric chair for killing a man in a, for a million, and for me, and a robbery, and a jewelry store wasn't it? Yes. And while at the same time, a white man and ex-governor son, right? Killing Indian with no witnesses around and jury deliberated what, 90 minutes, something like this, and acquitted the white man. And they turned around and another jury sends Thomas White Hawk to death. And I know that there's been quite controversy over this about the double standards of justice for Indians and whites. And in South Dakota. It's been 20 years, I think, since the last person who died in the electric chair there. Well, I just read the other day that the governor of South Dakota went and he communed the death sentence. To, well, I guess Thomas White Hawk's status right now is life imprisonment without possibility of parole,
which strikes me as being a little bit unfair also. But I guess the governor had quite a hassle. He had people that were claiming he was pro-Indian and people that were claiming he was anti-Indian. And, you know, I'd like to know what pro-Indian means. If you've got a man on death row and, you know, how you can label that, because, definitely, I saw it. But it seems to me that things aren't all kosher back in the land of the Black Hills. Okay. Now, also on this deal, I heard that some of the Indians in South Dakota were trying to get together. And we're possibly discussing with holding leases from the white ranchers. Because a lot of Indian land is leased to white people in South Dakota. The Indians would hold these leases that the ranchers or whatever farmers will go bankrupt. And then they'll, you know, it's a small weapon, but it's a weapon.
And I think maybe if we did this on a larger scale, we might get some of that respect. Yeah. That we do. It's just about time to sign off. Everyone out there, I mentioned it last night, and I'll mention it again. But if there are any questions that you would like to ask us, being as we can't get in touch with you individually, we'd appreciate it if you would write 2KPFA, FM, 22 or 7 Shadow Gavin in Berkeley, California. Zip code 9474. And we'll be glad to relay, to answer any questions that you may have. And in the future, with our programming, we're going to, we will be getting into discussions with people from the California Indian Legal Services, about Indian legal entanglements in the state of California.
And we will be getting in touch with people from the reservation that from the urban areas. We will be branching out into all these different fields and have quite a bit of really interesting information to hand out. That's what we've got to look forward to in the 70s. And also at the same time, we will try to get Indian poetry and music on the air, some of the old stories. And that's kind of our outlook for the 70s. So, we're going to wish everyone a happy new year, and may it be better than the last. And on behalf of the people of Alcatraz, I'd like to wish you a good night, and also this program was brought to you through the courtesy of the Pacific Network, and have a happy new year. And thank you, John Trudeau. That was our live broadcast, direct from Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay. This is the Pacific Radio Network.
This is Pacific of Berkeley. And this is the Pacific Network. Tonight's program from Alcatraz, Radio Free Alcatraz, will consist of a news report from the island, and then an interview with Douglas Remington, a youth who has set up the Alcatraz School on the island, which is seeking accreditation. Right now, Radio Free Alcatraz. Can you remember the times that you have held your hand high? And told all your friends of your Indian playing, proud, good lady, and proud, would man, your great-grandfather from Indian blood spraying,
and you're feeling your heart for these ones. Oh, it's written in books and in songs that we've been mistreated and wrong. Good evening. Welcome to Indian land radio on Alcatraz Island. This is John Trudeau, welcoming you on behalf of Indians of all tribes. And tonight we have with us, Mr. Douglas Remington, and Linda, our Nagel. All right, well, I just butchered Linda's last name, but they're working with the school that we have on the island. And we'll be talking with them in a couple of minutes. First, I'd like to bring out some information on the accident we had on the island Saturday evening. Ivan Oakes, Richard Oakes, his oldest child,
fell and heard herself quite seriously. I believe she's on this serious list in the hospital in San Francisco right now, and I heard some reports today on the radio editorials and things like this, saying that the island is unsafe, and that I guess the government and the GSA is looking for an excuse to rip us off the island, and this is what they're going to use. So I would like to say right now that it's unfortunate what happened to Ivan. It was an accident, but she fell three stories onto a concrete floor, but it could have happened anywhere. It happened in an apartment building here, and it could have just as well have happened in downtown San Francisco or Los Angeles or New York City, just because it did happen on the island. It was in the caretaker's apartment building, and I don't know exactly how it happened, but she did fall over a stair railing, I believe. And I would like to make this point very clear that
what happened here could very well have happened anywhere else. And so we're all hoping that Ivan recovers very quickly, and we'll give you more developments on this as they come into us. She is in the hospital now and Richard and his wife are there with her. So now we've got that straightened out. We'll start talking with Douglas and Linda. Douglas, would you give us a little background information on what you are going to do with the school? Well, currently our hopes are to get the school accredited as a private school in the San Francisco school district, where we have a primary grades one through six, and this is the area that we're concentrating on. We also have a pre-primary education program also in the same building that we have at the primary school. Okay, I'd like to point out also that Douglas is a Southern youth
from Denver, and he's 24 years old. Yeah, he has a VA in English education, and he's having the other arts. And Linda is a freak from Oakland. She's 21, and she's a senior dean of the University of Berkeley in social sciences. And to return on, now we are working with the four-year predation to get the school accredited. That's a private school. That's a private school. It's easier than doing it as a public school. Oh, well, we've had good sort of reactions from the public school people in Berkeley. I haven't talked with people in San Francisco and in Oakland yet, but I plan to do it this week sometime as possible or next week. They recognize it as a private school, and we won't have any trouble with true end offices or anything of that sort. But we wanted to get the school accredited immediately,
so that in case this is sort of a verbal agreement, or they've agreed not to bother us, but we're still not officially accredited, although we are still legally a private school, and the children can go there without being bothered by true end offices. What we're worried about is that, you know, if they go back to other schools to go back to their public schools, they may be put back and read or something of that sort. And we would want that to happen just because they're here on architecture. Well, what grades are covered here? There's been a school in the end, then the one through six right now, and we have about, it depends, 15 to 20 students. And it's pretty well evenly distributed the age group from first to sixth, and evenly distributed male female.
How are supplies holding up, Doug? Well, we are lucky in some fields, and we have too much in others. We have a lot of books that we really don't mean. Daniel Boone books. Great Indian killer really was. But we just can't escape. That's it. But if we have enough Daniel Boone books, we'll have a big book burning ceremony on the courtyard. Save them. He's running low. But we do need more materials. We have the basics, but we do need a lot of other things. He has another idea. Well, what types of materials? We have two sections of the school. There's the regular academic part, the things that the children would learn in public school in any public school, reading and arithmetic,
that sort of thing. And then we have the arts and crafts section, and the sort of the Indian things, I guess you call it. But we have people who are willing to teach woodcraft and beadwork and leathercraft, and the children are anxious to do painting and to make their own costumes. And because I'm so far, I think that none of the children in the school have their own costumes. A few have grown out of their costumes, and we want to teach dancing and singing. And we eventually want to have a dance group that would go around to the public schools in Oakland and San Francisco and Berkeley, and talk to kids. I mean, if it's good, you're talking to a fifth grader about being an Indian, but that of course, that's way in the future.
But we do need all kinds of materials for the craft section right now, leather and leather working tools and wood carving tools. We need these desperately. We've got about three or four left. We can make our own wounds if we have the own use of few scraps of wood. We really need leather. We've got a lot of leather scraps, and a lot of people in San Francisco, but we need larger pieces, because now we can make headbands for small porches, but nothing is large, and we could use feathers. See, guys, don't make it. As far as the, with the academics, what are the pressing needs there, besides getting the credit? Teachers. We need more volunteer. Yeah, we do need more volunteer teachers,
but that's an internal thing here on the island. We want people from residents in the island to work with the children, because we want them to have individual attention. Each of the children, I don't like working with, I don't like to make the situation formal. I like to just talk to one child and work for 30 or 40 minutes on the math or reading or whatever. And so far, I've never even worked with more than one child. I've been able to keep it down to each one, get individual tutoring. Well, have you set the classes up according to grades? Or is it right now with what each child is capable of? Yeah, there aren't any grades, although we, all of our materials are sort of, our front public schools just about live math and their reading texts are straight from the California public schools. I believe there are some experimental schools anyway
that where they are having the students that work with just in what they can handle. They don't, what the student is capable of. Yeah, because we have some children that are far than them that are far behind. And what we don't want to feel, well, some of them, the ones that are behind in their work, are, you know, shy about reading out loud or are embarrassed when any other children are listening to them because they're, they're ashamed of being behind and having to read in the fifth grade readers that are the sixth grade reader. But as long as they get individual attention, it really doesn't matter. And as long as they feel secure with their tutor, and they know that they are making some progress in their work, they don't mind. Well, then you would say, generally, then that the school is developing quite well? Yes, I, I, I'm enjoying my job. I think the kids are.
They wouldn't leave today. I had five or six up there until, they were there until about four o'clock and they'd been there since nine in the morning. And I won't go until the kids are ready to go, but they started getting hungry, so they left. Yeah, that's quite different when I went to school. Nine to four, it was real. I also came to be there. Well, Doug, where did you come from when you came to the opera track? Well, I was sitting in Madrid for my doctors and you came out here that you left there to come here for this right. I read about it in the European edition of the New York Times and I thought, well, why not? I had served two years in Peace Corps before and it was a very good time to give a little bit of myself. I enjoy doing this. I think that, well, I went to school in the East and I was very fortunate to go to school in East. I thought, so consequently, I feel that I owe a great deal to Indians
and people. Well, it's just a chance to help. I mean, you know, there's a good way. The shows that we're getting people, various people, there's various backgrounds. Right. Because common bond that we have is being Indian. Right. Some of the people say that Alcatraz, you know, Alcatraz, to them it symbolizes a rock, but Alcatraz to me doesn't symbolize a rock. It symbolizes people like the people who cook, the people who school, security, anybody who works there are Alcatraz. I mean, Alcatraz, what it is, people in the radio station. Well, it's just about time to wrap this all up. So I'd like to thank Douglas and Linda for taking time out. Thank you for inviting us. Yes, it's been a we'll talk again sometime. We have more time. And like I said earlier in the program, that as far as we know right now,
I don't know. She was originally at Marine and then they transferred. Yeah, they transferred. But anyway, as soon as we find out any information on that, we will pass it out to you. But don't let the GSA get to you. So this broadcast from Indian land Alcatraz was brought to you through the courtesy of the Pacific and that works. And this is John Dell on behalf of the Indians of all tribes and you're very pleasant to believe in.
Radio Free Alcatraz
Radio Free Alcatraz 1969-12-31 and 1970-01-05
Producing Organization
KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
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This audio tape contains two episodes of the series of news reports on the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. This occupation is often considered the beginning of the Red Power movement, a movement by American Indians for self-determination, sovereignty, and better reservation conditions during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Indians of All Tribes occupied the island for nineteen months from November 20, 1969 to June 11, 1971, to establish a community and to protest the government's treatment of native peoples. Proclaiming, "We, the native Americans, reclaim the land known as Alcatraz Island in the name of all American Indians by right of discovery...we will purchase said Alcatraz Island for twenty-four dollars ($24) in glass beads and red cloth, a precedent set by the white man's purchase of a similar island about 300 years ago," the occupation brought national attention to past and contemporary injustices. Episode BB5457.03, recorded and broadcast on December 31st, 196
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Indians of North America--Civil rights; Alcatraz Island (Calif.)--History--Indian occupation, 1969-1971; Trudell, John; Indians of North America -- Political activity; Protests, demonstrations, vigils, etc. -- Alcatraz (Calif._; Native American
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Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 28538_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: PRA_AAPP_BB5457_03_and_04_Radio_Free_Alcatraz (Filename)
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Duration: 0:28:17
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Chicago: “Radio Free Alcatraz; Radio Free Alcatraz 1969-12-31 and 1970-01-05,” 1969-12-31, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “Radio Free Alcatraz; Radio Free Alcatraz 1969-12-31 and 1970-01-05.” 1969-12-31. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Radio Free Alcatraz; Radio Free Alcatraz 1969-12-31 and 1970-01-05. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from