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American Indian Movement

History, Alcatraz, Trail Of Broken Treaties, Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge, Later Years

Founded in 1968, the American Indian Movement (AIM) is an organization dedicated to the Native American civil rights movement. Its main objectives are the sovereignty of Native American lands and peoples; preservation of their culture and traditions; and enforcement of all treaties with the United States.

Despite the straightforwardness of its stated objectives, AIM's reputation had been seriously harmed by well-publicized and controversial incidents of law-breaking, VANDALISM, and violence, resulting in the organization's peak and decline within a few years. Significant historical events include AIM's hostile occupation of Alcatraz Island (1969); the "Trail of Broken Treaties" march on Washington, D.C. (1971); occupation of Wounded Knee (1973); and the Pine Ridge shootout of 1975, which resulted in the controversial arrest and imprisonment of the most famous AIM member, Leonard Peltier. Following these events, the organization's visibility and viability as a political force greatly declined.

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