Important Role of former Nazis in Eastern Germany." 

November 21, 1950
Central Files Decimal Number 762B.00

American Indian Movement and Native American Radicalism, 1968—1979, The

FBI files illustrate the evolution of AIM as an organization of social protest and the development of Native American radicalism.

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Date Range: 1968-1979
Content: 14,195 pages
Source Library: Federal Bureau of Investigation Library

The American Indian Movement (AIM) expanded from its roots in Minnesota and broadened its radical political agenda to include a searching analysis of the nature of social injustice in America.

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AIM used the media to present its message to the American public. On Thanksgiving Day 1970, AIM seized the replica of the Mayflower. In 1971, members occupied Mount Rushmore; in 1972, they took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C. In February 1973, AIM members initiated a 71-day siege at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in response to the 1890 massacre of some 150 Lakota men, women and children by the U.S. Seventh Calvary.

Unparalleled insight
The American Indian Movement and Native American Radicalism includes FBI documentation on the evolution of AIM as an organization of social protest, as well as valuable documentation on the 1973 Wounded Knee standoff. Informant reports and materials collected by the Extremist Intelligence Section of the FBI provide insight into the motives, actions, and leadership of AIM and the development of Native American radicalism.

FBI files provide detailed information on the evolution of AIM as an organization of social protest. These files cover 1969 to 1979, a period that witnessed AIM’s rise to national prominence and its subsequent demiseas a politically and culturally viable force. During its surveillance, the FBI developed a network of information concerning AIM’s leadership, its policies, its strategies and its role in the civil rights movement and the politics of the New Left.

These files offer a significant source of documentation on the intelligence and law enforcement programs of the FBI in an era of increasingly militant social activism.

  • The Gordon, Nebraska, affair and the death of Raymond Yellow Thunder
  • The Trail Broken Treaties protest march from the West Coast to Washington, DC
  • The takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters office in Washington, DC on November 1, prior to the 1972 presidential election.
  • Demonstration at Custer, South Dakota, stemming from the stabbing death of AIM member Wesley Bad Heart Bull
  • The occupation of Wounded Knee by AIM members and their Pine Ridge Reservation allies
  • Establishment of support groups, such as the Black Panthers, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Venceremos, Students for a Democratic Society, La Raza Unida Party, Workers Alliance, and the October League
  • Fundraising activities and monetary support from many individuals and groups who sympathized with AIM’s cause, including church groups, government programs, and private donations – all of which were a particular target of the FBI
  • Correspondence and informant reports on AIM leaders, such as Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt, Dennis Banks, George Mitchell, Leonard Crow Dog, Carter Camp, and Leonard Peltier
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