Tuesday, January 18, 2022
HomeTop StoriesClyde Bellecourt, a Founder of the American Indian Movement, Dies at 85

Clyde Bellecourt, a Founder of the American Indian Movement, Dies at 85


Clyde attended a Roman Catholic mission college run by Benedictine nuns on the reservation till he was a teen. The household then moved to Minneapolis, the place he struggled academically, dropped out of highschool, did not discover a job and was jailed for burglaries and robberies.

In jail, he met Mr. Banks and Eddie Benton-Banai, who was working a cultural program for Native American inmates. After they have been launched, in mid-1968, they based the American Indian Movement with George Mitchell, Charles Deegan and others to assist city Indians take care of discrimination, unemployment, poverty and inadequate housing. Mr. Bellecourt’s older brother Vernon was additionally lively within the motion.

Mr. Bellecourt, who later labored for a utility firm, was chosen because the motion’s first chairman and helped launch the so-called Trail of Broken Treaties, an extended march from the West Coast to Washington in 1972.

In addition to his spouse, whose Japanese American father was interred throughout World War II, Mr. Bellecourt is survived by 4 kids, Susan, Tonya, Little Crow and Little Wolf; and quite a lot of grandchildren.

He pleaded responsible following his arrest in 1985 in a drug possession case. He later mentioned that the arrest and the 2 years he spent in jail hsf helped him break his dependancy.

In 2016 he printed an autobiography, “Thunder Before the Storm,” written with the journalist Jon Lurie, In it, Mr. Bellecourt wrote that earlier than he may assist heal others as a pacesetter of A.I.M. within the late Nineteen Sixties, he needed to make peace along with his creator and heal himself, together with Mr. Benton-Banai, in a prayerful sweat lodge ceremony — an expertise that led to a metamorphosis of the motion’s agenda, from violent confrontation to constructive engagement.

“I understood that the only way we were going to succeed in the Movement was to place healing and spirituality at the center of everything we did,” he wrote. “The spirits in the ceremony told us that we were to continue on our journey, that we had to bring back the spirit of the Indian people.”

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