Clyde Bellecourt: The American Indian Movement: Past, Present and Future
Clyde Bellecourt has been a relentless advocate for social justice and equality on a local, national and international level. Clyde is a member of the Anishinabe- Ojibwe Nation. His Indian name, Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun, means "Thunder Before the Storm.” As a Native American youth, he was forced to attend Boarding School where he often acted out against school rules that suppressed his cultural heritage. His resistance led him to spend some time in prison where he eventually organized a Native American Folklore Group. Native American prisoners met together for classes on a regular basis and eventually were able to get Pow Wows in the prison. This model of cultural re-affirmation was soon instituted in prisons across the country.
Clyde is well known as a co-founder of the American Indian Movement in 1968, and for his role in a variety of high profile protests, such as the occupation of Wounded Knee, and storming the Bureau of Indian Affairs for their corruption in the 1970's. Since then, he has organized and/or directed numerous organizations such as the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media, and the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center, which has successfully moved over 14,000 people from welfare to full-time jobs. Locally, Clyde founded the Elaine Stately Peacemaker Center for Indian Youth; Women of Nations Eagle Nest Shelter, and Heart of the Earth, Inc.,which provides educational opportunities for Native American youth and adults. He has given more than $200,000 in scholarships for Native Americans to continue their schooling. Clyde Bellecourt is very optimistic for the future, because he sees this generation as coming together (all peoples of all races) for peace.
|Contact||Barbara Zust ’76 — 507-933-6097|
|Sponsor||Department of Nursing|