Native American activist Clyde Bellecourt, a co-founder of AIM – the American Indian Movement, has died of cancer at age 85.
Bellecourt passed away Tuesday morning at his home in Minneapolis.
AIM began in 1968 of AIM as a local organization in Minneapolis that sought to grapple with issues of police brutality and discrimination against Native Americans.
The group would lead a string of major national protests in the 1970s, including the 71-day occupation in 1973 on the Pine Ridge Reservation of Wounded Knee to highlight corruption on the reservation and federal injustices against Indians.
Bellecourt initiated the Trail of Broken Treaties march to Washington, DC, in 1972 to serve as a first step to renegotiating federal-tribal nations’ treaties and relations.
He founded or helped found a number of non-profit groups including the Heart of the Earth Survival School, Elaine M. Stately Peacemaker Center for Indian youth; the AIM Patrol; the Legal Rights Center; MIGIZI Communications, Inc.; the Native American Community Clinic; and the Women of Nations Eagle Nest Shelter;