Journalist and writer Laura Waterman Wittstock and photographer Dick Bancroft have recorded, written and taken pictures of the American Indian Movement (AIM) for over 40 years.

Their book, We Are Still Here published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, is a testament to that effort.

It includes Wittstock's reflections on covering the native American civil rights movement as a young reporter in Washington, D.C., as well as some of Bancroft's striking and iconic images as the movement struggled for Native independence.

An exhibit of Bancroft's photos opened May 10 at All My Relations Gallery on Franklin Avenue, celebrated by drummers performing the AIM honor song, traditional foods and a gathering of AIM activists, including Clyde Bellecourt and Bill Means. Bellecourt, a member of the White Earth band of Ojibwe, reminded the crowd what it took for them to get to this place.

"Our people were so beaten down," he shouted to the crowd, "We didn't think we could pull ourselves up," he said as he went on to tell people how AIM began as a group of people meeting on the Northside of Minneapolis.

It wasn't just about better living conditions for Native Americans on and off the reservation, but about reviving their culture and demanding the federal government honor its treaties and show native nations the respect they deserved

Photos of the BIA building takeover showed American Indian men and women not as the cowboys and Indians of the John Wayne movie-myth making era, but as anxious and restless souls overturning desks, banging on drums and demanding the ear of federal officials to say that Indians were still here.


Responses to " We Are Still Here: 40 Years of AIM in Photographs (Video)"

  1. Dennis Banks, the Bellecourt brothers then later on Russell Means & his brothers, John Trudell became the voices of the American Indian Movement at great cost to their personal liberty & their lives. Young folks, study your elders & what they have worked so hard to preserve, continue movement, do not become complacent.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Pour qui est sensible à cette cause,
    Il faut soutenir, soutenir, soutenir à chaque fois qu'on y pense, pour que les petites victoires continuent à se multiplier. Si on n'a pas d'argent pour faire les dons, on peut penser profondément à eux, en alliance avec les forces de la Terre-Mère

  3. Unknown says:

    Our government has broken EVERY treaty it has ever signed with Native Americans. Not much of a legacy for we white foreign invaders.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a failure to all of humanity. Humans could have had such a different contemporary period if we just gave peace, honesty and trust a chance. So much work to do.

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