However, postwar of Vietnam sparked the American youth to protest politics, and Native Americans stood up for their civil rights as American people. In 1961, around sixty seven tribes made up of over four hundred tribal members, met up in Chicago to find new ways of bringing all Native American tribes together to address wrongs of their people. They wanted the right to choose their own way of life. Before Native Americans were seen as savages, the red men who killed attacked innocent white men. But one result of the movement was a change in the way popular culture saw Native Americans.
By the 1970’s films that once portrayed Indians as such savages, stopped. Some Indian activists persuaded some white schools to change the demeaning reference of Native Americans, such as Dartmouth College that once called their team the “Indians”. In 1968, a young militant group of Native Americans established A. I. M. which stands for American Indian Movement. It supporters were those of urban areas but eventually established on reservations. “In 1968 Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act, which recognized the legitimacy of tribal laws within the reservations.
But leaders of AIM and other insurgent groups were not satisfied and turned increasingly to direct action. In 1968, Indian fisherman clashed with Washington State officials on the Columbia River and in Puget Sound, where Indians claimed that treaties gave them the exclusive right to fish. The Following year, members of several tribes made a symbolic protest by occupying the abandoned federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and claiming the site “by right of discovery. ” (Brinkley, page 841-842 012) In the 1970 the president had promised increased tribal self-determination and another increase in federal aid for Native Americans but protests were still continuing. One of the most celebrated protests happened February 1973 at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. This was the site of the 1890 massacre of the Sioux Indians murdered in cold blood by American federal troops. AIM occupied and seized the town of Wounded Knee for about two months, demanding changes in their administration and asking the government to honor their treaty obligations that were said to be forgotten.
Only one Indian was killed during this protest and another one wounded. The Indian civil rights movement, like most other civil rights movements of their times did not win full justice and equality for their people. The principal goal to some Native Americans was to defend, and protect their rights as Native Americans. As to other Native Americans it was equality. Native Americans wanted to win a place in society as an equal to all groups that made up Americans. However, there is no single Indian culture or tradition in America, so the movement to unite all Native American tribes failed.
The Indian civil rights movement, for all the limitations it had endured, did accomplish winning a series of brand new legal rights and protections, which gave them a much stronger position in the twentieth century. (Brinkley, 2012 page 842) (Brinkley, 2012) Native Americans were typically unhealthy, ignored, and discriminated against as savage humans for many years. In the 1960’s, the fact that young adults were protesting for their rights as civilians led Native Americans to fight for their own rights as well.
They were awarded federal aid and their tribal laws on their reservations were awarded to their people, which basically means federal law has no say when it comes to any legal decisions made on an Indian reservation, where once before they did have a say. Native Americans today have ways to bring in money to tribes, such as Casinos, and are not treated as savages as they once were before the 1960’s in American culture. Reference Brinkley, A. (2012). American History. Connecting with the Past, Fourteenth Edition (14th Ed. ). Not Sure: McGraw-Hill Company.