Native Skeptic

Native Skeptic
Apache Crown Dancers 1887:

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Monday, November 8, 2010

The American Indian Movements' Manifesto for Sovereignty

After the first events developed in the early history of AIM, the movement began to exemplify the definition of what is considered a "social group". First, the formulation of the groups' ideology needed to be clarified into terms. In order to understand these principles, we can first take a look at the document which states the goals of AIM. One of the co-founders, Dennis Banks, helps shine some insight by providing some further explanation regarding the history of the American Indian Movement with the following statement,

"Because of the slum housing conditions; the highest unemployment rate in the whole of this country; police brutality against our elders, women, and children; Native Warriors came together from the streets, prisons, jails and the urban ghettos of Minneapolis to form the American Indian Movement. They were tired of begging for welfare, tired of being scapegoats in America and decided to start building on the strengths of our own people; decided to build our own schools; our own job training programs; and our own destiny. That was our motivation to begin." (1992, D.Banks)

The reasons for AIM being created are quite clear at this point. The infamous history of the relationship between the “white man” and the "Indian" provides us with a deeper understanding about some of the hostility that still exists among the various cultures. In some aspects, American Indians feel that nothing has changed in regards to the treatment and outlook towards the United States "native" peoples over the past hundred years. Which brings us to the topic of how AIM will put their ideological theory into practice.