'Are You Going to Honor the Treaties?' Clyde Bellecourt Asks Bernie Sanders
On Thursday, Clyde Bellecourt, founder of the American Indian Movement and elder statesman in the Twin Cities civil rights community, was the last audience member to be given the mic to question Bernie Sanders at the Black America Forum in Minneapolis. Despite repeated interruptions by the moderator to keep his question short, Bellecourt, a 79-year-old Anishinaabe elder, blasted Sanders and other presidential candidates for not saying “a single word about Native people.”
Bellecourt introduced himself both by his name in his language and his “colonial name” and reminded Sanders and those gathered of the long struggle of Native Americans to be heard on the national stage. He described his own role and AIM’s in leading Native American people to Wounded Knee in 1973 in an armed takeover of an Oglala Lakota village on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, site of the infamous 1890 massacre of Lakota men, women and children.