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American Indian Movement

The Life Of Clyde Bellecourt (1936–2022)

I had short hair the first time I met Clyde Bellecourt. It was Native American Heritage Month in 2005. Native students had invited him and fellow members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) to the University of South Dakota after police plastered posters on campus depicting a poorly drawn “Native American male” who had allegedly attacked a woman. The description was vague enough to implicate just about anyone; several students and university workers were called in for questioning. The posters were vulgar because of their bluntness: they appeared to confirm the worst stereotypes of savage Indians attacking innocent women. So AIM called a press conference. They brought in the big drum.
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