Starting in the from the beginning of the twentieth century through the late 70's, the forced sterilization of native American women often occurred when women went to hospitals to receive other surgeries or give birth. From 1970-76, 25-50% of Native American women were sterilized. Events like this have been rallying cries to AIM for decades, and although this practice has been discontinued, the effects on the overall population in native communities have been devastating.
Atrocities against Native Americans continue into the twenty-first century in the form of genocide. However, this is not in the form of mass-murder, but rather mass-abductions. This article discusses the horrific number of cases in which the U.S. government forcefully removed Lakota and Sioux children from their families to be moved into white foster homes. Even worse, it was revealed that the state receives $70,000 per Indian child relocated. While these actions are sold as humanitarianism and social work, the result is a genocide according to the United Nations.
This is a manifesto detailing the what AIM hopes to draw attention to in their march from San Francisco to Washington DC in 1972. This nation-wide march became a signature form of protest for AIM in later years. This 20 point statement includes things like the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the repeal of several termination acts, which had claimed the territory of smaller tribes for the U.S. Government. In summary, the goal was to make the federal government accountable for the long series of broken treaties and offenses that have marred the United State's relationship with first nation peoples.
The Wounded Knee occupation was a protest by AIM against the Lakota Chief Dick Wilson, who was known to be corruptly using police forces to attack political opponents. The 200 armed AIM protestors occupied the town for over two months in a standoff against the U.S. Marshalls and Special Operations Group. In the end, two federal agents were injured and two protestors were killed. After the event, charges against the AIM leaders were dropped.
The U.S. Marshal's record of the "incident at wounded knee". The record describes the bravery of the agents and their use of heavily armored transports and counter-snipers against the occupying Indians
Russell Means was an iconic figure for the AIM movement in the 70's and continues to raise awareness about the oppression First Nation people experience. The list of statistics show the shockingly low life expectancy of people on reservations, the spread of diseases, and that a quarter of Lakotah children are moved to white foster homes.
The AIM tradition of protest through epic-scale journeys on foot continues even today, as AIM walks in 2017 to raise awareness about addiction and domestic abuse on Indian reservations. During the journey, the protestors stop to meet with tribes to discuss problems that occur within first nation communities. The AIM movement has maintained this tradition for 40 years, and is a more peaceful protest than their previous militant occupations.