Lakota Woman Essay
In Lakota Woman, Mary Crow Dog argues that in the 1970’s, the American Indian Movement used protests and militancy to improve their visibility in mainstream Anglo American society in an effort to secure sovereignty for all “full blood” American Indians in spite of generational gender, power, and financial conflicts on the reservations. When reading this book, one can see that this is indeed the case. The struggles these people underwent in their daily lives on the reservation eventually became too much, and the American Indian Movement was born. AIM, as we will see through several examples, made their case known to the people of the United States, and militancy ultimately became necessary in order to do so. “Some people loved AIM, some hated it, but nobody ignored it” (Crow Dog, 74).
AIM was the first Native American group to realize that their message would not be heard with just words. Their words had gone unheard for too long, and it was time to take action. The need to take action stemmed from the way in which Native Americans were forced to live on a daily basis. Native Americans were forced to live on government appointed lands, and many of them lived in squalor. They felt that this country was rightfully theirs, and wanted an equal opportunity to be able to live where they pleased. Also, they were constantly discriminated against. Many stores and establishments had signs that read “No Indians Allowed.” AIM would go to these places and protest openly, sometimes getting violent. Many acts of violence and murder also occurred on reservation lands against Native Americans, and the white men who committed the crimes would receive a light sentence in court, sometimes not even be punished at all. Examples such as these show how the time was ripe for a movement such as AIM to be born.
The feelings of anger and despair among American Indians led to the Trail of Broken Treaties in 1972. Led by the AIM, the Trail of Broken...
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