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

HeadlineJan 12, 2022

Clyde Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, has died at the age of 85. In 1972, the group organized a major march to D.C. called the Trail of Broken Treaties. Bellecourt was a prominent figure in the occupation of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in 1973. In 2013, we spoke with Bellecourt about the campaign to force the Washington football team to change its racist name

Clyde Bellecourt: “We’re putting pressure on the whole world about these racist slurs and this continued cultural genocidal policies of this government. Let’s not forget, there’s over 2,000 high schools, colleges and universities throughout America have changed. They said they would never change, never change their name, just like Dan Snyder, but they have changed. Every single one of them have changed. And so will happen to this Washington team.”

In 2020, the Washington NFL team finally retired its old name. Click here to see our full interview with Clyde Bellecourt. His Ojibwe name was Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun, meaning “Thunder Before the Storm.”

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