What is the American Indian Movement

Founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, MN to address the issue of police violence against Native Americans and other issues pertaining to Native peoples and lands, the American Indian Movement helped to address and raise awareness to the plight of Native peoples.

The following was written by Birgil Kills Straight (Oglala Lakota) 1973

Things will never be same again and that is what the American Indian Movement is about …

They are respected by many, hated by some, but they are never ignored …

They are the catalyst for Indian Sovereignty …

They intend to raise questions in the minds of all, questions that have gone to sleep in the minds of Indians and non-Indian alike …

From the outside, AIM people are tough people, they had to be …

AIM was born out of the dark violence of police brutality and voiceless despair of Indian people in the courts of Minneapolis, Minnesota …

AIM was born because a few knew that it was enough, enough to endure for themselves and all others like them who were people without power or rights …

AIM people have known the insides of jails; the long wait; the no appeal of the courts for Indians, because many of them were there …

From the inside AIM people are cleansing themselves; many have returned to the old traditional religions of their tribes, away from the confused notions of a society that has made them slaves of their own unguided lives …

AIM is first, a spiritual movement, a religious re-birth, and then the re-birth of dignity and pride in a people …

AIM succeeds because they have beliefs to act upon …

The American Indian Movement is attempting to connect the realities of the past with the promise of tomorrow …

They are people in a hurry, because they know that the dignity of a person can be snuffed by despair and a belt in a cell of a city jail …

They know that the deepest hopes of the old people could die with them …

They know that the Indian way is not tolerated in White America, because it is not acknowledged as a decent way to be …

Sovereignty, Land, and Culture cannot endure if a people is not left in peace …

The American Indian Movement is then, the Warriors Class of this century, who are bound to the bond of the Drum, who vote with their bodies instead of their mouths …

THEIR BUSINESS IS HOPE.

For more information on the American Indian Movement go here

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