American Indian Movement
The American Indian Movement (AIM) is an organization that was set up to defend the civil rights of the Native American people. The movement has been in existence since 500 years ago, but it did not become an official organization until activists George Mitchell, Clyde Bellecourt, and Dennis Banks founded it in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the year 1968.
For many decades before the establishment of the AIM, the Native American population had been victims of discrimination in the American society, and their civil rights were violated by the unjust federal Indian policy. Many Indians were frustrated with the numerous problems they faced in the American society, such as racism, squalid housing, and unemployment, and they felt that they needed a representation to help them fight for justice.
Shortly after the AIM was set up, the Heart of the Earth Survival School and Little Red Schoolhouse were established to promote Native American education, and a protest march called the Trail of Broken Treaties was held at Washington D.C. to demand the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reform its policies. However, the FBI and CIA became wary about the protest, and their cracking down on the AIM activists led to the well-known siege at the Wounded Knee reservation, which raised international awareness about the struggle of the Native Americans. In 1978, the AIM organized the Longest Walk march, which was joined by famous personalities like Marlon Brando, Muhammad Ali, and Senator Ted Kennedy. The American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed as a result of the protest.
Today, the American Indian Movement continues to hold protests whenever they feel that Native Americans are being treated unfairly, or disrespect is shown towards their culture. AIM has branches in many towns and cities across the US and Canada, and these branches will look out for the interests of Native American people who are living in their localities.