Centennial Honors College Western Illinois University Undergraduate Research Day 2012 Poster Presentation Indians Take AIM: The Founding of the American Indian Movement, 1968 Valerie Corey Faculty Mentor: Virginia Jelatis History Throughout American history there have been social movements in which people have gathered together in changing the status quo. Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights are such examples. However, there is one social movement that is often overlooked: the American Indian Movement (AIM). When people do read and write about AIM they often focus on the larger organization and battles fought at the national or international level. AIM was involved in the occupation of Alcatraz in 1969 and in the takeover of Wounded Knee in 1973. Although these events are important to the understanding of American Indian activism, it is equally important to understand the beginning of this influential movement. When conducting my research I asked: Who were the founding members? What issues brought them together? What were their initial goals and what did they accomplish? To answer these questions I read primary and secondary sources. The primary sources I utilized most were microfilm of The Minneapolis Star and Tribune from April to December 1968, as well as, interviews from AIM members, and autobiographies. As for the secondary sources I read books, dissertations, and theses about American Indian activism. Through my research I have learned that AIM was founded by urban Indians frustrated by the discrimination, poverty, and police brutality facing native groups in Minneapolis. AIM members established an Indian Car Patrol in hopes of stemming police brutality and provided legal counsel when necessary, but most importantly AIM returned a sense of pride to the urban American Indians of Minneapolis.