American Indian Movement

Encyclopedia Article


The American Indian Movement (AIM) was the Native American response to racism and white hegemony. The first chapter was founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968 by Dennis Banks, Clyde Bellecourt, Eddie Benton-Bonai, and George Mitchell (all Ojibwe). Throughout the 1970s, members successfully raised awareness about Native American rights and pushed Native communities across the US to reembrace their sacred cultural traditions.

The movement appeared alongside the African American civil rights movement and anti Vietnam war protests, and very quickly calls for "Red Power" could be found alongside those for "black power." Some of their largest protests were the Trail of Broken Treaties in 1972 and the Wounded Knee occupation.

While the movement no longer remains as high-profile as it was in the 1970s, Native American activists continue to raise awareness of contemporary racism and abuses of power against tribes throughout the Unites States.

Photo Credit: 

"American Indian Movement Patch," photograph by Robert L. Anderson. Robert L. Anderson American Indian Movement Papers (MSS 695 BC, Box 2). Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Published Works: