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  • Why Aim Started.

    "Because of the slum housing conditions; the highest unemployment rate in the whole of this country; police brutality against our elders, women, and children; Native Warriors came together from the streets, prisons, jails and the urban ghettos of Minneapolis to form the American Indian Movement. They were tired of begging for welfare, tired of being scapegoats in America and decided to start building on the strengths of our own people; decided to build our own schools; our own job training programs; and our own destiny. That was our motivation to begin. That beginning is now being called 'the Era of Indian Power'." (Dennis Banks, 1992)

    During the Summer of 1968, two hundred members of the Indian community came together to discuss various issues and critical developments within the Native American community. Amongst them were --

    Police Brutality
    Slum Housing
    80% unemployment rate
    Disgraceful if not shameful practices of the Minneapolis public school system and its lack of concern regarding Indian education.
    Racist and discriminatory policies of the Hennepin County welfare system toward Native American clients.
    Questionable behavior of federal government in its regard to Native policies.
    From this meeting came the birth of the American Indian Movement (AIM). Calling the meeting were long time community activists George Mitchell, Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt. Attending were some of Minneapolis's most active Native people: Mary Jane Wilson, Francis Fairbanks, Harold Goodsky, Melissa Tapio, Pearl Brandon, Darcy Truax, Charlie Deegan, George Millessay, Caroline Dickenson, Joanne Strong, Polly Chabwa, Arlene Dakota, Peggy Bellecourt, Ellie Banks, Bobby Jo Graves, John Red House, Audrey Banks, Alberta Atkin, Jeanette Banks. . .among others.

    In addition to these issues, the Movement saw the need to protect treaty rights and preserve traditional Native Spirituality and culture. (Mandated boarding schools for Native children which took them away from their families and communities, forced relocation programs, and other government methods of "assimilation" had attempted to destroy Native culture and beliefs.) It also stressed the sovereignty of Native Nations.

    "During the past twenty-five years, the American Indian Movement has taken on organizing and creating opportunities for people across the Americas and Canada. AIM is headquartered in Minneapolis and Chapters have formed in many cities and Indian Nations. The American Indian Movement is a spiritual and cultural movement with no formal membership.
    The philosophy of self-determination that the Movement is built upon is deeply rooted in traditional spirituality, culture, language and history of Native peoples of the land. AIM develops partnerships to address the common needs of the people as well as to ensure fulfillment of treaties made with the U.S. government guaranteeing the survival of Indian Nations."

    (Laura Waterman Wittsock)
    "I AM BUT A MIST OF WATER IN A RAIN STORM""FOR I HAVE MUCH TO LEARN."

  • #2
    HISTORY OF AIM

    1968
    MINNEAPOLIS AIM PATROL: Created to address issues of extensive police brutality
    DIVISION OF INDIAN WORKS: Placed into Indian control from Church control
    LEGAL RIGHTS CENTER: Created to assist in alleviating legal issues facing Indian people

    1971
    HEART OF EARTH SURVIVAL SCHOOL (HOTESS): A K-12 school established to address the extremely high drop-out rate among American Indian students and lack of cultural programming. HOTESS serves as the first model of community-based, student-centered education with culturally-correct curriculum operating under parental control.
    FIRST NATIONS AIM CONFERENCE: 18 Chapters of AIM convened to develop long-range strategy for future directions of the Movement.

    1972
    TRAIL OF BROKEN TREATIES: A march on Washington, D.C., ending in the occupation of BIA headquarters and resulting in the presentation of a 20-point solution paper to President Nixon.

    1973
    WOUNDED KNEE 73: AIM was contacted by Lakota Elders for assistance in dealing with the corruption within the BIA and Tribal Council which led to the famed 71-day occupation and battle with the US armed forces.

    1974
    INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL (IITC): An international organization representing indigenous peoples through the western hemisphere at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
    RED SCHOOL HOUSE: The second survival school to open, offering culturally-based education services to K-12 students in St Paul, MN.

    WOUNDED KNEE TRIALS: 8 months of trials in Minneapolis resulted from events which occurred during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee.

    1975
    FEDERATION OF SURVIVAL SCHOOLS: Created to provide advocacy and networking skills to 16 survival schools through the U.S.
    LITTLE EARTH OF UNITED TRIBES: HUD chose AIM to be the prime sponsor of the first Indian-run housing project

    1976
    TRAIL OF SELF-DETERMINATION: AIM follows up on "Trail of Broken Treaties" by traveling back to D.C.

    1977
    IITC: Establishes NGO status within United Nations in Geneva and attends the International NGO conference and represents testimony to the UN

    1978
    THE LONGEST WALK: Indian Nations to walk across US from CA to D.C. to protest anti-Indian legislation calling for the abrogation of treaties.
    SACRED RUN: First 500-mile spiritual run from Los Angeles to Davis, California. (Repeated every year since). It purpose is to carry the message "of the sacredness of all living things and to be mindful of our duties and responsibilities to this planet Mother Earth and the seventh generation."
    RUN FOR SURVIVAL: Minneapolis AIM youth organize and conduct 500-mile run from Minneapolis to Lawrence, KS to support the Longest Walk.
    WOMEN OF ALL RED NATIONS (WARN): Established to address issues directly facing Indian women and their families.

    1979
    AMERICAN INDIAN OPPORTUNITIES INDUSTRIALIZATION CENTER (AIOIC): Creates job training schools to attack the unemployment issues of Indian people.

    1983
    ANISHINABE AKEENG: Created to regain stolen land on White Earth reservation.

    1986
    AIM PATROL: Minneapolis AIM Patrol comes full circle in restarting the Patrol to deal with the serial killings of American Indian women in Minneapolis
    SACRED RUN: Conducts its first continental spiritual run from Los Angeles to New York.

    1988
    SACRED RUN: Conducts its first international spiritual run -- in Japan.
    GRAVE DESECRATION ISSUE: In Uniontown, KY over 1200 graves looted resulting national attention and legislation making grave desecration a felony. Pressure on other states to pass stricter legislation increases.

    1989
    SPEARFISHING: AIM is requested to provide expertise in dealing with angry protesters on boat landings.
    ELAINE STATELY INDIAN YOUTH SERVICES (ESIYS): Developed to create alternative for youth as a direct diversion to gang-involvement of Indian youth.

    1990
    SACRED RUN: Runs through thirteen European countries from England to Moscow.

    1991
    PEACEMAKER CENTER: With an American Indian spiritual base, AIM Patrol and ESIYS is housed in a center in the Minneapolis Indian community.
    NATIONAL COALITION ON RACISM IN SPORTS AND MEDIA: Organized to address the use of Indians as sports team mascots.
    SACRED RUN: Runs from British Vancouver to Kahnawake in Quebec.
    SUNDANCE: Is brought to Pipestone, MN.

    1992
    THE FOOD CONNECTION: Organized summer youth jobs program with an organic garden and spiritual camp (Common Ground) at Tonkawood Farm in Orono, MN.
    SACRED RUN: Runs from Fairbanks, Alaska to Sante Fe, New Mexico after seven days of canoeing up th Yukon River.

    1993
    LITTLE EARTH: After an 18-year struggle, HUD rules that Little Earth of United Tribes housing project shall retain the right to Indian preference.
    SACRED RUN:Runs in Australia and Aotearoa (New Zealand).

    1994
    WALK FOR JUSTICE: A six-month walk from Alcatraz to Washington, D.C. to bring public awareness to Native issues and the prison ordeal of leonard Peltier. A Walk document summarizing these key native issues is presented at a meeting in the Russell Senate Building.
    SACRED RUN:Runs from Big Mountain, AZ to Brownville, TX to Janeville, WI.

    1995
    SACRED RUN: Runs in Japan commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII.
    "I AM BUT A MIST OF WATER IN A RAIN STORM""FOR I HAVE MUCH TO LEARN."

    Comment


    • #3
      AIM in 2004 Community Agenda

      Good afternoon. I see historical significance in what AIM has done and respect the work done by those individuals to make my life a whole lot more emjoyable, but what does AIM mean to the new generation of Native American people? Recent media attention has not relayed the significance of AIM or the meanful work done by the different areas of the Movement. So from your personal point of view-what or where does the American Indian Movement fit into your community/family/personal life?

      Thank you.
      Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. Einstein

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: AIM in 2004 Community Agenda

        Originally posted by ten_dore
        Good afternoon. I see historical significance in what AIM has done and respect the work done by those individuals to make my life a whole lot more emjoyable, but what does AIM mean to the new generation of Native American people?
        ten_dore:

        This is a good question.

        Back in da' day, AIM raised awareness of many issues that went unnoticed by the American public. Granted their ways of achieving their goals went along with the radical/semiviolent movements of other cultures at that time.

        Unfortunately, each AIM chapter is autonomous of one another and certain individuals claiming to represent AIM actually hurt their cause.

        The AIM movement in Minneapolis is still community minded and is still active.

        I don't think today's generation of young adults would put their lives on the line to represent AIM like they did in the 60's and 70's.
        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

        Comment


        • #5
          well put... nice thinking..... ;)
          "I AM BUT A MIST OF WATER IN A RAIN STORM""FOR I HAVE MUCH TO LEARN."

          Comment


          • #6
            AIM

            There were other semi violent fractions of the minority power movement at the time but I think AIM kept a lot of basic human principals in place to keep people motivated and see the projects through. I am glad that there is an organization that represents the people but there are always changes that need to be made to reflect the various spiritual/social changes that effect all tribes and people.

            I think the movement created by 'Urban Indians' and those people who had a chance to experience a different lifestyle away from the reservation was helpful to everyone. With their help and motivation that generation had a chance to voice opinions they've had/heard since childhood and were acutally in a position to make a difference.

            Your right about members hurting the cause. That's very apparent in the fractions that make local headlines and influence public opinion. But that comes back to the question of what's right and what's wrong depending on the situation and the ability of a community to make things happen in their favor.

            "I don't think today's generation of young adults would put their lives on the line to represent AIM like they did in the 60's and 70's." I think you made a good point. I just want to know if that bothers anybody else-because you realize that the injustices Native People had to struggle against are the same ones that we are imposing on our own people.

            Thanks.
            Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. Einstein

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: AIM

              Originally posted by ten_dore
              There were other semi violent fractions of the minority power movement at the time but I think AIM kept a lot of basic human principals in place to keep people motivated and see the projects through. . .

              I think the movement created by 'Urban Indians' and those people who had a chance to experience a different lifestyle away from the reservation was helpful to everyone. . .

              Your right about members hurting the cause. . .

              . . ."I just want to know if that bothers anybody else-because you realize that the injustices Native People had to struggle against are the same ones that we are imposing on our own people.
              10_dore:

              It is my opinion that The American Indian Movement in Minneapolis has and does keep a lot of "basic human principles in place." But this is definitely not the case with other people who claim to represent AIM.

              In the different urban Indian communities that I have lived in, AIM was not looked upon favorably by the local Indian populations. The local Indians who claimed to represent AIM did a lot of things in their private lives that discredited their AIM involvement.

              Also, as a young person, I saw the verbal abuse and discrediting that the National AIM Leaders threw at each other, extinguishing any thought of me ever taking up their association.

              I agree, we as Indian people have an OVERWHELMING number of injustices and struggles to overcome.


              "I for one, am doing my part in my region and community to confront and change some of these issues to help Indians people."
              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

              Comment


              • #8
                i think that every native should be thankful for AIM...it changed so many things that natives were facing. IT made us all strong and brought us together as one. It didn't make a difference what tribe or band you was from. Native is Native.
                blah blah blah....

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was talkin to my dad about AIM and he says he never got involved in the bay area group because there was a time of friction and people tryin to just get by in the city and all. Its cool reading all this and understanding whats behind the causes.

                  :Thumbs




                  :D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I used to associate with AIM all the time and was considered a member. I was on the Longest Walk and many other events. My older sister was at the Wounded Knee occupation and I attend the occupation anniversary, and do the walk to Wounded Knee, very cold but powerful. It was a good time for Indian Pride back then, kind of why I always strived for cultural preservation within my own community.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      nicely put..... just wanted to say thanks to every one for the post keep them comming :):Thumbs:11:
                      "I AM BUT A MIST OF WATER IN A RAIN STORM""FOR I HAVE MUCH TO LEARN."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Bay area people does any one know of a AIM group here if some one wants to be a member?

                        :D


                        :p well me I want to know.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          :Yell
                          Why AIM? Because Vernon Bellecourt doesn't want to get a real job? Before we go off glorifying this "Indian rights organization," check out News From Indian Country's articles on Aquash's murder (http://www.indiancountrynews.com/archives.cfm). Paul DeMain's work has won awards on this subject, and Bellecourt's propaganda machine has gone out of its way to discredit his work. Leonard Peltier had the gall to file a defamation suit against him (kind of hard for a convicted murderer to claim an article damaged his reputation). It's a shame that this group gets credit for their "civil rights" work while others who really make a difference like NCAI and NARF hardly get recognized.
                          Fish eyed fool!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's a shame that this group gets credit for their "civil rights" work while others who really make a difference like NCAI and NARF hardly get recognized.
                            hell yeah huh...
                            big up to NCAI and NARF
                            ~*~OTOE GURL~*~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Badmutha
                              :Yell
                              Why AIM? Because Vernon Bellecourt doesn't want to get a real job? Before we go off glorifying this "Indian rights organization," check out News From Indian Country's articles on Aquash's murder (http://www.indiancountrynews.com/archives.cfm). Paul DeMain's work has won awards on this subject, and Bellecourt's propaganda machine has gone out of its way to discredit his work. Leonard Peltier had the gall to file a defamation suit against him (kind of hard for a convicted murderer to claim an article damaged his reputation). It's a shame that this group gets credit for their "civil rights" work while others who really make a difference like NCAI and NARF hardly get recognized.
                              What shall we do then. Abandon ship and start all over, or take what we already have, improve, build, and run like the wind? It was alread acknowledged that some individuals and pocket groups have discredited the movement. But the mission still exists. We are all the American Indian Movement, whether you want to ascribe to a red and white jacket patch or not.

                              Maybe we should reconvene and form the Aboriginal Rights Movement instead... :Chatter
                              "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
                              Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service www.49deal.com

                              Comment

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