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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

American Indian Movement (AIM) at Wounded Knee

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Associated Press, A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT (AIM) AT WOUNDED KNEE, SD. (1973). Courtesy of AP/Wide World.

Creator The Associated Press/Wide World Photos
Context Inspired by the confrontational approach of other movements, Native Americans resorted to militant tactics to claim more rights.
Audience Newspaper readers
Purpose To show the militancy of the American Indian Movement

Historical Significance

In 1973, the American Indian Movement used armed force to seize the village of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, the original site of the U.S. Army's massacre of the Sioux in 1890. During the 1960s and 1970s, abject poverty, a high drop-out rate from schools, and rampant alcoholism characterized life on the reservation. By occupying Wounded Knee for two months, AIM made a statement against these living conditions and the 371 treaties that the United States government had broken. A standoff ensued. As AIM brought in supplies, the FBI circled Wounded Knee and killed one Native American and wounded another. After the incident, the federal government promised to re-examine the treaty rights, but took no subsequent action.

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