Essay On The American Indian Movement

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The American Indian Movement, AIM, was founded in 1968 by Russell Means, Dennis Banks, and other Native American leaders. AIM was founded as a militant political and civil rights organization for the Native Americans. AIM members occupied Alcatraz Island off San Francisco from November 1969 to June 1971, because they said the treaty granted them permission to unused federal land. AIM occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. in November 1972 to protest the controlling reservation development.
Their actions were highly praised by many Native Americans. AIM activities were all banned by the Oglala Sioux Tribal President Dick Wilson on the Pine Ridge Reservation. AIM considered his government to be dictatorial and corrupt, so they planned the operation of Wounded Knee to
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These people went in and took 11 allies of Dick Wilson hostage as local and federal authorities came to the reservation. The very next day AIM members started shooting at the authorities and anything that came within the rifle shooting distance. Russell Means began negotiating for the release of the hostages, he demanded that the U.S. Senate launch investigations in all Sioux Reservations in South Dakota, Pine Ridge, and of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He also stated that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hold scores of Indian treaties that have been broken by the U.S. Government.
Wounded Knee lasted for 71 days. During this time there were two Sioux men shot to death by federal agents. And one federal agent was paralyzed after being shot. After the White House promised to investigate their complaints, the AIM leaders and their supporters surrendered on May 8. Russell Means and Dennis Banks were arrested, but they were released on September 18, 1973, when the charges against them were dropped by a federal judge because of the U.S. government’s poor way of handling the evidence and witnesses.
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