Those who have passed on -  AIM leader and veteran activist dies  (40 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/14/07 9:19 AM 
To: All  (1 of 8) 
 2284.1 

AIM leader and veteran activist dies at age 75

He fell ill after a trip to Venezuela four weeks ago, said his brother Clyde, and had been on a respirator until Saturday.

http://www.startribune.com/466/story/1483509.html

By Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

Last update: October 14, 2007 – 12:04 AM
Vernon Bellecourt, a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, died Saturday. He was 75.

Bellecourt died at Abbott Northwestern Hospital of complications of pneumonia, said his brother, Clyde Bellecourt, a founder of the group.

Clyde Bellecourt said his brother had been in Venezuela about four weeks ago to meet with President Hugo Chavez to discuss Chavez's program for providing heating assistance to American Indian tribes. He fell ill around the time of his return.

His condition continued to deteriorate, and he was put on a respirator a week ago. He died within a minute after being disconnected Saturday, his brother said

Vernon Bellecourt -- whose Ojibwe name WaBun-Inini means Man of Dawn -- was a member of Minnesota's White Earth Band and was an international spokesman for the AIM Grand Governing Council based in Minneapolis. Clyde Bellecourt helped found AIM as a militant group in 1968, and Vernon Bellecourt soon became involved as well, including in its 1973 occupation of the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota.

In recent years, Bellecourt was active in the fight against American Indian nicknames for sports teams as president of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media. He was arrested in Cleveland during the 1997 World Series and again in 1998 during protests against the Cleveland Indians' mascot, Chief Wahoo. The first time, the charges were dropped. He was never charged in the second case.

"He was willing to put his butt on the line to draw attention to racism in sports," his brother said.

Bellecourt was involved as a negotiator in AIM's 1972 occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington as part of the Trail of Broken Treaties caravan.

He was present only briefly during the 71-day Wounded Knee standoff with federal agents, Clyde Bellecourt said. He stayed mostly on the outside to serve as a spokesman and fundraiser. After Wounded Knee, Vernon Bellecourt became a leader of AIM's work abroad, meeting with presidents such as Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, as well as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

But after Wounded Knee, AIM also became weakened by arrests and internal strife and a backlash against violence blamed on it. One of its founders, Russell Means, became a bitter opponent of the Bellecourts and a leader of a rival AIM group.

Vernon Bellecourt was active in the campaign to free Leonard Peltier, who was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout in 1975 on the Pine Ridge reservation.

A wake was scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at All Nations Church in Minneapolis and on Tuesday night at the Circle of Life School in White Earth in northwestern Minnesota, with funeral services planned for Wednesday.

© 2007 Star Tribune. All rights reserved.

 
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From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon10/15/07 1:44 PM 
To: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (2 of 8) 
 2284.2 in reply to 2284.1 

Thanks for posting this D. Did you ever meet him?

Tim

 

 
From: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/15/07 2:04 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (3 of 8) 
 2284.3 in reply to 2284.2 
yes...I work with AIM...peace D
 

 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon10/16/07 6:12 PM 
To: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (4 of 8) 
 2284.4 in reply to 2284.3 

It was a nice tribute on the Cleveland news the day he died. While the local babseball is in the playoffs, the news led off with his story. Of course they talked about his arrest in Cleveland over the team's name and mascot.

But that was years ago. Wish we had an active chapter around these parts— Ohio. Seems no one around here gives a hoot anymore D.

Tim

  • Edited 10/16/2007 6:16 pm ET by Cherokee21
 

 
From: Mark S Madrid (madridm)10/16/07 7:41 PM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (5 of 8) 
 2284.5 in reply to 2284.4 
D, isn't Kenny Kane still over there in Cleveland?  


                     
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Mark S Madrid
              Web Page 

 

 

 
From: Madam D (MadamD) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/17/07 2:33 PM 
To: Mark S Madrid (madridm)  (6 of 8) 
 2284.6 in reply to 2284.5 

this is scary...I just talked about Kenny Kane...I met him one year at Bear Butte doing vision...he was a story teller...dang...lots of ole AIM stuff....I knew he was really a "AIM-ster"...he didn't brag...just shared...funny stories...

most others that go on and on about Wounded Knee and such, are usually just full of themselves...wannabee's...

but where he is these days I haven't a clue...but back in mmmm 2000 he was driving a real pretty red truck and supporting those up on the mountain....I could check around these parts and see if anyone has any info on him....peace D

 

 
From: ctj201010/18/07 11:19 AM 
To: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon  (7 of 8) 
 2284.7 in reply to 2284.4 

It's always good to reflect on the legacies our elders leave to inspire us...

New leaders and new movements come forth when other generations realize and reocgnize the need too...

But what is important to us may not be relevant when it comes to the younger generations...

So what is your rapport like when it comes to local indigenous youth?

This inquiring mind would like to know:

And thanks in advance!

As for my own?

They tend to seek me out...

Though I don't  usually dress 'native'  and suchlike?

Etc.

Anyway...

Take care...

Later...

Peace...

 

  • Edited 10/18/2007 11:21 am ET by ctj2010
 

 
From: Cherokee21 DelphiPlus Member Icon10/23/07 12:44 PM 
To: Mark S Madrid (madridm)  (8 of 8) 
 2284.8 in reply to 2284.5 

Hi Mark:

I contacted some Cleveland folk. Said they would get back with me...but you know NDN time.

Tim

 

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