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The American Indian Movement Essay

1915 words - 8 pages

The American Indian Movement is an organization in the United States that attempts to bring attention to the injustice and unfair treatment of American Indians. Aside from that, the AIM works for better protection and care for the American Indians and their families. They have been changing the American perception of Indians since the late 1960’s, as well as aiding our awareness of their existence.

The AIM was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Dennis Banks and Clyde Bellecourt, mainly to stop the police brutality and other violence going on within the Indian communities. In the 1950’s the United States government had decided to establish a policy that included taking all the land they had given to Native Americans back. This would cause the relocation of thousands and thousands of Native Americans. In fact, crimes arose through urban and civilian areas because of Native Americans. During the summer in 1969, 200 people had met to discuss all the problems occurring with the Native Americans. Including police brutality towards Indian tribes throughout the United States, and unemployment. The AIM also made sure they brought attention to the problems occurring. They got the attention they wanted, and the events that they organized were meant to bring empathy or sympathy to the people that had heard or seen them. For example, many Indians traveled to Alcatraz after 1970 to gain even more attention. Creating “fish ins” and protesting legal restrictions of fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest, and making their stay in Alcatraz last up to 19 months. In fact, the Native Americans did not choose to leave because of their cut water supply, or electricity shut down. Instead, they left after the government had decided to take a few unarmed people from them.
Various trials have been held throughout the American Indian Movement, for example the Wounded Knee Trials. Wounded Knee, is a small village in the State of South Dakota, and is the setting of the last disgraceful massacre of Native Americans in 1890. Only about 200 members of the Oglala Lakota Indians, who were the local Indian tribe, were taking part in the event of Wounded Knee. The AIM visited a Catholic church, a trading post, and a post office and had declared the small village an independent nation. The trials were held in St. Paul Minnesota, and most of the defendants who were charged were not found guilty. In fact, very little of the defendants got sentenced for charges that were directly related to the takeover of Wounded Knee. However, there were many people who are or were doing jail time for other AIM activities and protests. After the AIM members occupied the village they took up arms and that’s when they federal government moved in, trying to defend American soil. The occupation lasted 71 days and two AIM members were killed in the small battle. Another trial involving the AIM was the Ana Mae Aquash trial. Anna Mae Aquash, an AIM member, was found dead in a ravine on February 24,...

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