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Clyde Bellecourt, One of Original Founders of the American Indian Movement, Passes Away

MINNEAPOLIS - Clyde Bellecourt, one of the original founders of the American Indian Movement (AIM), passed away today due to complications with cancer, according to Lisa Bellanger, Co-Director of the American Indian Movement's Grand Governing Council. His Ojibwe name is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun-"Thunder Before the Storm." He was 85 years old.

Along with Dennis Banks, Eddie Benton-Benai, and George Mitchell, Clyde Bellecourt co-founded the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1968. In its beginning, the American Indian Movement aimed to address systemic issues of poverty, discrimination, and police brutality against urban American Indians.

Bellecourt and AIM were involved in many highly publicized protests including the Trail of Broken Treaties, a cross-country march to Washington, D.C., to reignite federal-tribal nations' treaties and relations, and the Wounded Knee Occupation, where approximately 200 Oglala Lakota and the American Indian Movement seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, SD for 71 days. AIM also participated in the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969-1971).


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