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DR. RICK ST. GERMAIN (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwa, WI)

There was the American Indian Civil Rights Movement underway. And every time we’d hear about Alcatraz, the occupation, it would excite the young people. But I know it just discouraged the heck out of our tribal chairman. It’s not the Indian way he would say.


New leaders emerged from the urban tribal communities and the national American Indian movement. This organization which began in Minnesota had national impact on tribal issues.

DENNIS BANKS (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwa, MN)

I wanted to be part of a group of people that was going to stand up for Native people. I wanted to be part, I wanted to move, I wanted to go and challenge the institutions and the policies that were restricting us, were putting us in prison, the all-white jury system, the all-white police system, the all-white judges in Minneapolis that were sentencing our people to prison left and right. I wanted to find out more about the B.I.A., why they weren’t there to protect us in our hunting and fishing, why we were being thrown off our own lakes in Minnesota by game wardens. That’s where we were in 1968. The time had come, and people all over this country felt that that was enough, it’s time to stand up and fight, and so the American Indian Movement was formed.

Video courtesy of WDSE-Duluth/Superior, MN, 2002

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