I am Lawrence Laughing and I am personally inviting you to Georgetown, CA for the Native Fest which is dedicate to Richard Oakes. Mark your calendars for April 25, 2009 and April 26 2009 I plan to go to DQ and do a lecture. I hope many of you come. It is my pleasure to teach the "old ways". Good luck to DQ on April 4th for your pow wow !!
Here is a little history on Richard Oaks:
Richard Oakes Bio:
Richard Oakes (
1942–September 20, 1972) was a Mohawk Native American activist who promoted the fundamental idea that Native peoples have a right to sovereignty, justice, respect and control over their own destinies. His legacy reflects the struggles of Native peoples and all people to maintain their land, identity, and lifeways.
Oakes played an integral part in creating one of the first Native American studies departments in the nation. He developed the initial curriculum and encouraged other American Indians to enroll at San Francisco State University.
As a Mohawk Indian, Oakes was a strong supporter of Native American rights. He believed that Native American people have a right to their land and identity and that they deserve respect, justice and control.
In 1969, Oakes led a group of students and urban Bay Area Indians in an occupation of Alcatraz Island that would last until 1971. He also recruited 80 UCLA students from the American Indian Studies Center.
Indians of various tribes joined Oakes and staged the longest occupation of a federal facility by Indian people.
The historic occupation was made up initially of young Indian college students. Described as a handsome, charismatic, talented, and natural leader, Oakes was identified as one of the leaders of the island.
Oakes had control of the island from the very beginning, with an organizational council put into effect immediately. Everyone had a job, including security, sanitation, day care, schooling, cooking, and laundry. All decisions were made by the unanimous consent of the people.
The goals of the Indian inhabitants were to gain a deed to the island, establish an Indian university, cultural center, and museum.