SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Several hundred people, including dozens of Native Americans, attended a special sunrise gathering on Alcatraz Island on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. The event comes 41 years after the island was occupied by Native Americans to call attention to their plight.

People from all over Northern California and the country attended the event. The ceremony is held each year and includes recognition for people whose roots go back to indigenous tribes from Mexico, Central and South America.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

Late Indian activist Russell Means, who was a Bay Area native and graduate of San Leandro High School, was also honored in a combination of song, dance, ritual and prayers that filled the island.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)