American Indian Movement

The American Indian Movement (AIM) is a Native American activist organization in the United States, founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with an agenda that focuses on spirituality, leadership, and sovereignty. The founders included Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, Herb Powless, Clyde Bellecourt, Harold Goodsky, Eddie Benton-Banai, and a number of others in the Minneapolis Native American community. Russell Means, born Oglala Lakota, was an early leader in 1970s protests.

The organization was formed to address various issues concerning the Native American urban community in Minneapolis, including poverty, housing, treaty issues, and police harassment. From its beginnings in Minnesota, AIM soon attracted members from across the United States (and Canada). It participated in the Rainbow Coalition organized by the civil rights activist Fred Hampton. Charles Deegan Sr. was involved with the AIM Patrol.

In October 1971 AIM gathered members from across the country to a protest in Washington, D.C. known as the "Trail of Broken Treaties." AIM gained national attention when it seized the Bureau of Indian Affairs national headquarters and presented a 20-point list of demands of the federal government. In 1973 it led a 71-day armed standoff with federal forces at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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 indigenous interests outside the United States as well. By 1993 AIM had split into two main factions, with the AIM-Grand Governing Council based in Minneapolis and affirming its right to use the name and trademarks for affiliated chapters.

Read more about American Indian Movement:  International Indian Treaty Council, Ideological Differences Within AIM

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