American Indian Movement, Plymouth Ave., N. Minneapolis, Minnesota
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American Indian Movement
|Neighborhood/s:||North Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
|Hennepin County, Minnesota|
|State/province:|| Minnesota |
Founded on July 28, 1968 in an upstairs office on Plymouth Ave. in North Minneapolis, the American Indian Movement (AIM) became an activist organization to advocate for American Indians in the United States.
On July 28, 1968, 200 American Indian men, women and children met to form the organization, and Clyde Bellecourt was elected chair of the new organization. AIM hoped to address the injustices occurring against American Indians, including mistreatment by authorities, treaty violations and issues of poverty, education, unemployment, racism and more. Soon chapters of AIM were opening all over the United States.
In 1968, in order to keep streets safe after Indian people were being attacked, AIM formed the Minneapolis AIM Patrol. AIM also opened the Heart of the Earth Survival School in 1971, a K-12 school for American Indian students, and helped establish the Legal Rights Center and American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center in Minnesota.
AIM also famously occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C. in 1970 to protest its policies, and in 1972 marched to D.C. with the Trail of Broken Treaties march to present a 20-point paper entitled “An Indian Manifesto for Restitution, Reparations, Restoration of Lands for a Reconstruction of an Indian Future in America" to President Nixon.
AIM was also involved in the 1973 standoff with the FBI and other law enforcement at Wounded Knee, S.D. on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. AIM leaders occupied the small community to protest corruption in its tribal government, which became a 71 day siege with law enforcement, resulting in 2 deaths, 12 injuries and 1200 arrests. AIM leaders were later acquitted by a Minnesota court for the incidents at Wounded Knee.
While AIM is less visible today, it still is involved in American Indian affairs and plans to open the American Indian Movement Interpretative center devoted to AIM's history and its archives in a 19th century mansion at 1208 5th St. SE, Minneapolis. The site is the former home of the Heart of the Earth Survival School, which closed in 2008.
Memories and stories
View the film "Taking AIM: The Origins of the American Indian Movement," winner of "Best Film" in the Minnesota History Center's 1968 Film Competition in 2010: http://www.the1968exhibit.org/reflections/taking-aim-origins-american-indian-movement-best-film