American Indian Movement - June 29, 2008

KFAI's Indian Uprising, June 29, 2008 from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. CDT #272

The American Indian Movement (AIM), is an Indian activist organization in the United States. AIM burst onto the international scene with its seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1972 and the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

AIM was co founded in Minneapolis in 1968 by Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, Herb Powless, Clyde Bellecourt, Eddie Benton-Banai, and many others in the Native American community, almost 200 total. Russell Means was another early leader.

In the decades since AIM's founding, the group has led protests advocating Indigenous American interests, inspired cultural renewal, monitored police activities and coordinated employment programs in cities and in rural reservation communities across the United States. AIM has often supported other indigenous interests outside the United States, as well.

AIM's original mission included protecting indigenous people from police abuse, using CB radios and police scanners to get to the scenes of alleged crimes involving indigenous people before or as police arrived, for the purpose of documenting or preventing police brutality.

As is true with many national liberation movements (PLO, African National Congress), ideological differences emerged within AIM over the years. In 1993, AIM split into two main factions, each claiming that it was the authentic inheritor of the AIM tradition, and that the other had betrayed the original principles of the movement.

One group, based in Minneapolis, MN and associated with the Bellecourts, is known as the AIM-Grand Governing Council while the other segment of the movement, led by, among others, Russell Means, was named AIM-International Confederation of Autonomous Chapters - Excerpts:

Guest: Steve Blake (Red Lake Ahnishinahbaeotjibway), Director, Twin Cities American Indian Movement