Clyde Bellecourt Speaks - American Indian Movement: Past, Present and Future
w/ Book Signing - "Thunder Before The Storm"
Friday, Aug 03, 2018 @ 7:30 PM
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Regular Ticket Price
The Sea Of Glass--Center For The Arts honors the 50 year anniversary of the American Indian Movement (AIM), founded on July 28, 1968, with Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung (“Thunder Before the Storm”), the Native American name of Clyde Bellecourt, Founder and National Director of AIM. Bellecourt is the most significant living American Indian in the United States. Born in the Ojibwe tribe on White Earth Chippewa Reservation in northern Minnesota in 1936, he has been a relentless national and international advocate for social justice and equality all his life.
The American Indian Movement burst onto the scene in the late 1960s as indigenous people across the country began to demand what is rightfully theirs. Clyde Bellecourt, whose Ojibwe name translates as "The Thunder Before the Storm," is one of its cofounders and iconic leaders. He recently published his autobiography in 2016 – Thunder Before The Storm – in which he shares an intimate narrative of his childhood on the White Earth Reservation, his long journey through the prison system, and his embodiment of "confrontation politics" in waging war against entrenched racism. A book signing will follow his talk.
Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung / Bellecourt will speak on the past, present, and future of the American Indian people and challenge popular cultural stereotypes about them. "AIM is deeply rooted in spirituality and a belief in the connectedness of all indigenous peoples" says Bellecourt. Having led a rich life as an activist and freedom-fighter, he is up-front and unapologetic when discussing his battles with drug addiction, his clashes with other AIM leaders, his experiences on the Trail of Broken Treaties and at Wounded Knee, and the cases of Leonard Peltier and murdered AIM activist Anna Mae Aquash. The courage, creativity, and perseverance of him and other key personalities at that time forever altered the course of Native and American history.
Nee Gon Nway Wee Dung is the founder of Heart of the Earth Survival School, the first parental control culturally-based educational program in America. He is co-founder of the Legal Rights Center, which has handled more than 80,000 cases over the past 45 years providing criminal defense and restorative justice services to low-income people, in particular people of color and juveniles at no cost, as well as co-founder of the Minneapolis Indian Health Board, the first urban Indian program in America.
Bellecourt continues to direct national and international AIM activities as a coordinator of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, which has changed over 2,000 racist and hateful mascots and names in schools throughout America.