AIM 1973 (Wounded Knee)

By: Janneth Ballesteros

Wounded Knee

On February 27, 1973, members of the American Indian Movement took control of a village, Wounded Knee, by force. This village is located in South Dakota and was chosen because of the massacre in 1890. In the year 1890 the Sioux Indians were facing several hardships like losing their land and starvation. This happened because white settlers were taking their land which had gold and slaughtered all the bison that the Indians used as resources. The Sioux people would later perform a ceremony known as the Ghost Dance which alarmed the United States. The U.S then sent some of it troops to stop this from happening. However, things turned bad from there. Over 200 men, women, and even children were killed.

This brings us back to the incident of 1973. As stated in school.eb the AIM leaders, Russel Means and Dennis Banks said they, " vowed to stay until the U.S. government met AIM demands for a change in tribal leaders, a review of all Indian treaties, and a U.S. Senate investigation of the treatment of Indians in general." The event that took place was considered a siege. A siege is defined on as ¨any prolonged or persistent effort to overcome resistance.¨ This took place in a 71-day span and the Indians finally surrendered.

What ways did the government show they were unfair towards the Sioux Indians?

There are several examples that prove how the Indians were being mistreated essentially by the government. One example can be that the government did not follow its rules. The Treaty of 1868 states the Indians were given the right to ownership of the Black Hills located in South Dakota. However, when white settlers found out that gold can be found on the Black Hills and the treaty was not taken seriously. They trespassed on land that was not theirs and eventually the United States confiscated the land that was originally Indian property. Now you will find Mount Rushmore laying on territory that used to belong to Indians. Another example can be the way police officers mistreated the Indians. Many police officers at the time used to harass Indians, which is how AIM came to be. They formed this group to protect the Indians rights and prevent many of them from being arrested. Lastly, it said to be that the people of the court were just as unjust with the Indians as the officers were. There were accusations said about several cases that involved the Sioux people. One can be that they had tainted evidence of the shootout with two FBI agents. Many people believe that the sentencing for Leonard Peltier was unfair and was something he did not do.

Annotated Bibliography

"AIM Occupation of Wounded Knee Begins." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

This source was valuable in my smore because it spoke briefly about the event that occurred in 1890 and did not focus only on that. My smore is on the 1973 incident,so this article gave more information on that. I also feel that the length of the article was great because it was not too long and not too short.

Dudley, William. Native Americans: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, 1998. Print.

Ewen, Alexander, and Jeffrey Wollock. "American Indian Movement (AIM)."Encyclopedia of the American Indian in the Twentieth Century. Facts On File, 2014.American Indian History Online. Web. 21 Sept. 2015. <>."

This source was one of my favorites because of how detailed it was. It gave me some insight on what FBI agents were doing at the time and it was a lot more specific for this event. I feel that that adds value to this source and it is also very credible since it comes from the library resources. A limitation that I found was that it was a bit too long for what I was looking for, but overall I think it was pretty good.

Waldman, Carl. "Wounded Knee." Word Dance: The Language of Native American Culture. 1994. American Indian History Online. Web. 21 Sept. 2015. < Knee>.

This source came from the same publishers as the one above. This one was great for me to get more background info on the first incident that occurred in South Dakota. However, I was focusing on the incident of 1973, so this one was a limitation for me. I used this source to better understand what happened before. I do think it is valuable if you're focusing on the first event and it is short, so it is a quick read.

Wounded Knee." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 21 Sep. 2015. <>.

This was the first source I looked at, so I thought that it was useful. Its a valuable source because just like the other ones it is a shorter read. I think that it was brief enough in order to get a good glimpse of what happened. As for a limitation I don't think it has one.