For the World to Live Columbus Must Die + Knowing Who You Are: Lessons from Native America

Program #MEAR003-MEAR004.

First Program: For the World to Live Columbus Must Die

For too many of us, for too long, the indigenous peoples of this continent have been curiosities that existed somewhere over the horizon between fantasy and reality. The popularly crafted images were of medicine men, squaws and peace pipes, teepees, tom toms and tomahawks, war bonnets, war paint, war whoops and war parties. The only Indians we knew were named Tonto, Geronimo and Crazy Horse. In recent years a lot of these cliches have disappeared. The American Indian Movement has done much to break down the conventional stereotypes. AIM articulates a program of self awareness and pride. It promotes treaty and land rights and religious freedom for Native Americans. 

Second Program: Knowing Who You Are: Lessons from Native America

For years the indigenous peoples of the U.S., after having been dispersed and decimated and relegated to reservations, were reduced to caricatures. We all knew Indians and their culture. There was the familiar medicineman, the trading post, Geronimo and Crazy Horse, papooses and squaws, tepees and tomahawks, war dances and war parties. Tonto was the epitome of faithfulness and subservience. The formation and rise of the AmericanIndian Movement, AIM, in the early 1970s did much to break down conventional stereotypes. AIM, through its actions at Wounded Knee, Alcatraz, Mount Rushmore and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, demonstrated that Native Americans could and would fight back against racism and repression. 

Speaker(s):

Russell Means (click to view archive)

Russell Means, an Oglala Lakota and a prominent voice in the struggle for indigenous rights, was the first national director of the American Indian Movement. Under his leadership the organization occupied national and international attention. He is the author of Where White Men Fear to Tread and his final book, with Bayard Johnson, is If You've Forgotten the Names of the Clouds, You've Lost Your Way. He passed away in South Dakota on October 22, 2012.

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