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National Park Service restores Alcatraz Native American graffiti

SAN FRANCISCO — The National Park Service has restored graffiti on Alcatraz that was painted during the island's occupation by Native Americans in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The graffiti on a water tower reads "Peace and Freedom Welcome Home of the Free Indian Land."

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/13u5cgn) that it had faded and was barely visible before the National Park Service undertook the restoration. The work was completed six weeks ago by a Ute Indian who was among the island's occupiers.

The occupation lasted from 1969 to 1971 after the island's prison closed. The activists wanted to turn Alcatraz into an Indian cultural center or university devoted to native studies.

The National Park Service's site supervisor for Alcatraz, Marcus Koenen, says the words have social significance and help tell the island's Indian story.


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