Introduction to the
American Indian Movement:101

by Sherry Means

The following principal and philosophies are the interpretations of 3 South Dakota AIM people who grew up with its principals and philosophies:

Principal One

If you join AIM then you are there for the duration for the people.
Principal Two

AIM is for those people who want to see change!
Principal/Rule Three

We are sober and drug free.
Principal/Rule Four

We don't get involved with tribal politics or any other community politics unless invited to do so. A written letter must be sent to any AIM chapter before AIM will get involved.
Principal Five

Every chapter puts together their own protocol.
Principal Six

AIM is for everyone and AIM philosophy is based on the individual first nations spiritual and cultural norms of the people. AIM philosophy of AIM is that you work with the people not above the people. We are proactive when invited to make a stand on an issue and accordingly are willing to sacrifice your life, time, money and take risks in losing employment, homes and loss of family members or relatives. AIM is willing to risk their reputation even when it is unpopular at the time. For example, Wounded Knee '73, which was a significant event because its the most recent confrontation between U.S. Government and Indian Nations. That action signifies that Indian wars did not end in 1890. And AIM is ready to battle and risk their lives for the people. It is also AIM's purpose to indoctrinate the youth to secure the future of our people and our relationship to the land.

Concerning media, media is for the attraction and attention of an issue. It is not a bad thing. Media is how Indian people get recognized for their plight. AIM wants media attention because it makes people aware, support and or oppose our position and gives the people the right to make decisions for themselves. But of course, we as intelligent people must read between what the dominant (media) society interprets for Indian causes.

All the materials that people read about AIM is written by non-Indians and because AIM is not supportive of the so called "American Way," we are criticized meticulously for our right to be who we are. WE also know that the media is not going to be supportive of AIM because of past violent tactics but AIM looks for the attention to let the American and international communities be aware and make decisions for themselves.

American Indian Movement

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