A Time of Social Protest

Established during an era of growing social activism, the American Indian Movement (AIM) emerged from a gathering of 100 Indians in a cramped meeting space in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 29, 1968.

Black and white photograph showing the gathering of eleven young Native American men and women at the first official meeting of the American Indian Movement in 1968. The group is gathered around a desk in the basement of a building. Russell Means is in the photo.
Black and white photograph showing a group of fourteen young Black and White men and women at a protest. There is a Black man holding a megaphone in the center of the group.
Black and white photograph featuring a group of White soldiers holding rifles, surrounding and pointed toward a group of young people, casually dressed. A young White man holds flowers in one hand as he places the stem of a single flower into the barrel of a soldier’s gun.
Black and white photograph featuring a large group of young White people marching in a city street, holding signs reading 'Stop the War'.
Graphic extracted from the AIM Flag: maroon: cut out/stencil representation of human face with fingers in place of headdress - suggests a peace sign.

Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the protests against the war in Viet Nam, founding members Clyde Bellecourt, Dennis Banks and George Mitchell sought to address urgent issues in the Minneapolis urban Indian community – high unemployment, household poverty, a lack of educational opportunities, police brutality and the high incarceration rates of Indians.