Essay on American Indian Political Activism

Essay on American Indian Political Activism

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American Indian political activism played a tremendous role throughout history, which has laid the foundation for how Indians are being treated with more respect in today’s society. In 1961, about the same time as the meeting in Chicago, the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) was founded (Hudson). The goal of the NIYC was to protest against civil disobedience and to bring awareness to Indian heritage (Document of Indian Militancy, pg. 527). To promote the NIYC, young Indians would speak at colleges, important national organization meetings and hearings of government agencies (Document of Indian Militancy, pg. 527). This group of activists served as a new generation that was proud of their heritage and not willing to accept being sucked into a white society (Document of Indian Militancy, pg. 527). Clyde Warrior played an important role as a leader of in the NIYC (Document of Indian Militancy pg. 257). Warrior encouraged Indians to “take pride in their Indian heritage, and to hold on to traditional values in modern times” (Document of Indian Militancy pg. 257). Warrior later became the president of the NIYC and continually advocated through speeches and writings (Document of Indian Militancy pg. 527).
One of the biggest movements the NIYC was apart of was the occupation of Alcatraz Island. “In November of 1969, eighty-nine young Indians took over Alcatraz Island (Document of Indian Militancy, pg. 528). The purpose of occupying Alcatraz Island was to draw attention to them and promote “Red Power” (Hudson). Occupying Alcatraz was a success in getting their voice heard, which made a lasting impression that “served as a warning for the United States that Indian rights could no longer be ignored and became a symbol of hope for Ind...

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...w unjust the previous treaties were (Hudson). In 1953, the NCAI held a convention to discuss the crisis of Indian affairs including threats of termination. Frank George, the director of the NCAI fought against Dillon Meyer who was for the termination of Indians (Hudson). George was known as the latter day Chief Joseph because of the way he made his political points such as wanting change in polices and setting up for the Red Movement (Hudson). In 1961, the NCAI met again in Chicago to discuss the problems of termination (Hudson). Through the voice of the NCAI, Lyndon Johnson began the process to get rid of termination (Hudson). Richard Nixon was in office when termination finally ended (Hudson).

Works Cited

The Lone Ranger and Tonto First Fight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie
Two Views of the Indian Reorganization Act
Document of Indian Militancy
Hudson, Angela Hudson

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