HEAVY.COM/COED.COM -- Native American activist Richard Oakes is the subject of today’s Google Doodle. May 22, 2017, would be his 75th birthday. Oakes is best known for creating one of the first Native American studies departments in the nation, and leading an occupation of Alcatraz Island in the late 1960s.
While in attendance at SFSU, however, Oakes grew discontent with the courses that were being offered, and joined forces with an Anthropology professor to expand the curriculum to include Native American studies.
He developed the outline for what would go on to become one of the first Native American studies programs in the nation, which encouraged other American Indians to enroll in San Francisco State University, according to the Richard Oakes Multicultural Center. This increasing awareness among the community, coupled with Oakes’ increasing interest in activism and equality, eventually led to the famed Alcatraz protest in 1969.