February 27, 2013

40th anniversary of Wounded Knee II

Gunfire, Chants Mark Wounded Knee Anniversary

By Kristi EatonA Pine Ridge Indian Reservation resident who found herself in the middle of the 1973 Wounded Knee occupation said Wednesday amid ceremonial gunfire and chants that little has changed since the fatal standoff.

Faith White Dress was on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation 40 years ago when about 200 members of the American Indian Movement and their supporters huddled in houses, some with guns, to protest alleged corruption within the tribal government. Two Native Americans were killed, an activist went missing and a federal agent was wounded.

White Dress and others gathered Wednesday to remember the fatal 71-day standoff. During gunfire to mark the anniversary of the start of the occupation, she said the Oglala Sioux Tribe is still struggling.

"Unemployment is so high and the oppression is still so bad," she said. "I don't think it's going to take violence. It's going to take a gathering to determine how to bring jobs here. We need libraries. We need more of our children to have a better future."

Hundreds of people walked from nearby villages to the site of the occupation, drumming and chanting. Once at the site, the same place where in 1890 soldiers slaughtered an estimated 300 Native American men, women and children, AIM and their supporters continued to drum and chant and fire off gunshots into the air.

This year's events include memorials for AIM's charismatic leader, Russell Means, who died in October at age 72 after batting throat cancer. This is the first anniversary of the occupation since Means' death.

About 200 people gathered at a high school on Pine Ridge for the second of four planned ceremonies to honor Means. Friends, family and colleagues recalled Means as a man who taught his people how to stand up for themselves.

"He was articulate ... a proud Lakota," said Oglala Sioux president Bryan Brewer. "Today he is a version of our modern day Crazy Horse."
Ceremonial Walk Commemorates Wounded Knee Anniversary

By Derek OlsonForty years ago, the American Indian Movement took over the village of Wounded Knee. Protesters spoke out against what they called a corrupt tribal government and discriminatory federal practices. On Wednesday, a number of events marked the anniversary including a walk to the spot where it all took place.
Shortly after 9 a.m. on Wednesday, a group of people gathered in the village of Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

"Today, we are here to commemorate the activities that occurred in 1973," AIM supporter Edgar Bear Runner said.

It's one of four groups walking to Wounded Knee. For those in Porcupine, it's an eight mile journey in a wind making it feel much colder than 30.

"Despite the cold temperatures, we walk in their honor and in their memory," Bear Runner said.
Pride and heartbreak in anniversary of occupation

Why Wounded Knee II matters

AIM–Wounded Knee II, 40 years later

By Chase Iron EyesSo, AIM is not a legacy; AIM is living. AIM is because of the Native Youth Council, NYC was because of Treaty Councils, Treaty Councils were because of Warrior Societies, Warrior Societies were because of great men like Sitting Bull and Tecumseh and the Peacemaker, great men were because of great women. Since contact our spiritual movement has taken many pan-Indigenous forms and will never die. When we come together we literally shake the world. Tribal Colleges are because of AIM, Language revitalization is because of AIM, Indigenous Education is because of AIM, Ceremony is out in the open because of AIM, Native Youth Movement, HonorEarth, IEN, LRI, Owe Aku, IdleNoMore, and all the grassroots movements we rely on are because AIM fired warning shots to the world that Indigenous peoples are on the rise. All of our movements are constantly evolving into other forces.

It is clear to me that Indigenous peoples should take their place in leading and working with all of humanity. Race is of course a human construct as we are surely all indigenous meaning coming from the universe with spiritual covenants to the land and each other. We are in a state of emergency right now with the Keystone XL pipeline, the petro-backed banking system bound to collapse, drinking water being wasted and poisoned for the benefit of the greedy carbon economy. uranium mining in our territories, sacred sites facing destruction and so on. This I believe to be our role as Indigenous peoples: to share our beautiful world with that of the purported colonizer. They came here to feed an insatiable greed for riches and self but I think they were sent to learn how to respect sacred sites, the land, the water, other humans, other world views, other beings, to learn what true civilization looks like. So let’s honor today and make the most of every day. We are all seeking a spiritual revolution.
Comment:  For more on AIM, see Russell Means Was a Fighter and AIM Leads March for Traversie.


Anonymous said...

seriously Rob what's your policy on spam, all the comments so far are spam. ew

Rob said...

I think most blogs receive more spam than you see here. I know mine does.

Usually the Blogger system does a good job of deleting spam automatically. I don't know why it failed to delete these comments.

Anyway, my policy is that if Blogger doesn't delete them, I will. But it may take a few days for me to get to them.

In short, just ignore them. One way or another, they'll go away soon.

Rob said...

FYI, this item received 40-plus spam comments after I posted it. Blogger deleted all but four of them. Not bad, but it should've deleted all of them.