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American Indian Movement (AIM): Primary Sources: Archives & Records


Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee Records.
Records documenting the history, internal operation, and legal practice of a committee established by lawyers, legal workers, and others dedicated to the defense of activists involved in the American Indian protest movement of the 1970s. The bulk of the records relate to the occupation of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, by American Indian activists (Feb.-May 1973) and to the massive and complex legal proceedings that followed (1973-1976). Events leading up to and following the occupation are also documented, including a protest riot in Custer, South Dakota (Feb. 6, 1973), the widespread harassment and violence on the Pine Ridge Reservation after the occupation, a shoot-out at Oglala, South Dakota (June 26, 1975), which resulted in the death of two FBI agents, and the legal actions taken in order to prohibit the publication of author Peter Matthiessen's account of the Oglala incident.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Red School House Records, 1986-1991
School board minutes, personal correspondence, notes on lawsuits, newspaper articles, school handbooks, financial reports, tax reports, and other files accumulated by Peter Dodge during his years as director of a Native American Survival School in St. Paul, an alternative preK-12 school established in 1972 that integrated Indian culture and history with modern day concepts for survival.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid 

Books & Other Publications

Wounded Knee, 1890-1973.
St. Paul, Minn.: Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee, 1973.
MNHS call number: E9 9.O3 W68 1973

My Wounded Knee Scrapbook, by Rolf Waller. 
Newspaper clippings, 1973-1974, chiefly from the Minneapolis star, covering the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation and trial.
MNHS call number: FOLIO E99.O3 W34 1974

American Indian Movement News/Newsletter.
Minneapolis, Minn.: The Organization, 1970-1971.
MNHS call number: Microfilm #1555  

The Seventh Fire. 
St. Paul, Minn.: Seventh Fire, 1977.
MNHS call number: Microfilm #1231
Official publication of Red School House and St. Paul American Indian Movement.

Government Records

Revolutionary Activities Within the United States: The American Indian Movement, United States Congress, Senate Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws.
Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1976.
MNHS call number: E 93.U52 U47

Film & Video

"Nokomis: Voices of Anishinabe Grandmothers," Sarah Penman, producer.
St. Paul, Minn.: Twin Cities Public Television and Sarah Penman, 1994.
Documents Ojibwe women's attempts to restore and preserve their Native American culture and heritage. They recall painful memories of growing up trying to conform to a white man's view of the world, a view that saw Indian ways as bad. They discuss the negative influence of the mission schools, the desecration of Indian sacred and ceremonial artifacts and grounds, and the movement by Indians to reassert their treaty rights.
MNHS call number: Videotape no. 586 

A Good Day to Diea Yocha Dehe Winton Nation production ; produced and directed by David Mueller and Lynn Salt.
New York, NY : Distributed by Kino Lorber, Inc., c2011.
Chronicles the life story of Dennis Banks, the Native American who co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968 to advocate and protect the rights of American Indians, providing an in-depth look at the history and issues surrounding AIM’s formation. From the forced assimilation of Native Americans within boarding schools, to discrimination by law enforcement authorities, to neglect by government officials responsible for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, AIM sought redress for the many grievances that its people harbored. Banks’ personal struggle culminated in major armed confrontations at Custer, South Dakota and Wounded Knee -- climactic flash points which saw him standing steadfast as a leader for his cause.
MNHS call number: DVD 72

The Trial of Leonard PeltierUniversity Community Video ; produced by Paul Burtness with the American Indian Students in Communication.
Update on the trial of Leonard Peltier, AIM leader, who is charged with murdering two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D., 1975.
MNHS call number: Videotape 25

Oral Histories

Oral History Interviews of the Minnesota’s Greatest Generation Oral History Project: Minnesota Native American Interviews- Ernest and Vernell Wabasha, Lower Sioux, MN, July 11, 2006.  
Subjects discussed include growing up in tents; canning and gardening; having a house built through the Works Progress Administration [WPA]; attending a Catholic boarding school; food stamps and rationing; attending Catholic church services and holding a job while in school; enlisting in the Navy after World War II; being stationed in Europe during the Korean War; employment situation after military service; graduating from DeVries Technical Institute; moving back to the reservation to take care of family affairs; helping develop Indian programs in school systems; being exposed to the American Indian Movement [AIM].
MNHS call number: Digital Copy


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