Reflection as Wounded Knee anniversary approaches

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — American Indian activists took over the tiny village of Wounded Knee on South Dakota’s sprawling Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on Feb. 27, 1973, in what would become a 71-day, fatal standoff with FBI agents that attracted national attention to the impoverished reservation and the plight of local tribes.

On Wednesday, the occupation’s 40th anniversary, some of the protest’s central figures — most notably the American Indian Movement’s charismatic leader, the late Russell Means — will be noticeably absent from a commemoration at the reservation. But organizers hope the events remind people of the struggles that led to the standoff and problems still reverberating throughout Indian Country, as well as changes the protest helped spark.

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2 thoughts on “Reflection as Wounded Knee anniversary approaches

  1. K. Alexander

    It makes sad when I read comments that Native Americans should “get over it”. How the hell do you get over people killing your own people on their own land? Where else are they going to go?
    But this does reminds me of our discussion about violence. It is obvious AIM thought violence was the answer during this hard times. However, I think their violence was way more brutal than a gun- they basically shook American textbooks by reminding people they exist, that these conflicts weren’t over and never will be until white supremacy gives up racism. It does seem like the violence brought awareness that Native Americans existed and that their struggles weren’t over, and they aren’t now. It also shows that some of the AIM leaders are starting to view themselves outside of the colonizer’s eyes- something Fanon has been writing about; this really seems closely aligned with our reading on Fanon, in fact! I only hope I can learn their struggles through a decolonization lens, which is hard because I’ve been raised in a colonizer’s society.

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  2. Brittany

    Whenever an anniversary for anything comes around, I hope that people are able to reflect on the truth of what happened and how (hopefully) things have changed. The 40th Anniversary of Wounded Knee causes us to think of how this country has (and continues to) oppressed the indigenous people of this land. How much has really changed? What has been done to make sure an event such as this doesn’t need to occur again? Sadly, very little.

    After hearing Klee talk the other day, I wonder if the indigenous people of this land will have to have another similar standoff once again. While I hope this does not have to occur, I can’t help but wonder if that may be what it takes for indigenous peoples to be taken seriously and to finally be given the rights that they deserve. While positive change has happened for indigenous peoples since Wounded Knee, we all know so much more needs to be done.

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