"The American Indian Movement (AIM) is a Native American grassroots movement founded in July 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, initially centered in urban areas to address systemic issues of poverty, discrimination, and police brutality against Native Americans."

-from Wikipedia.


The early 1970s saw at the aftermath of the Viet Nam War a rise in radicalism: Peace movements, Women's Liberation, Black Power, Chicano Rights. Every faction of society in America that was blanketed over and hidden from public view had its identity made known in this era. Few groups were as marginalized as Native Americans were for hundreds of years. It was no surprise that they too joined in this age of awareness.

AIM occupied Alcatraz Island in 1971 in protest. In 1972 the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee was occupied by Oglala Sioux Indians in protest of the 1890 massacre at the same location. A law officer was shot and paralyzed, and two Indians were killed. The occupation reached national attention. Afterward AIM leaders Russel Means and Dennis Banks were indicted in involvement of the violence. The case was later dismissed. During the 71 day occupation many Indians across America from different tribes came to join the occupation.

Enter Calvin Ryder.

In Mayfield Eight part 1: Into the Rat Hole I had my hero come across a can of spray paint left on the side of the road. Who would discard a can -or need to spray paint something in an open empty area in New Mexico? In 1974?

I imagined AIM activists not too happy about a 'No Trespassing' sign from the Federal Government. I imagined one of them had handy a stencil with the familiar peace symbol/Indian feather icon, just to drive the message home.

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