August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lakota Bill Means: AIM West 2013 Part 1

Bill Means

(Click arrow to watch video) Bill Means, Lakota founder of the International Indian Treaty Council and longtime member of the American Indian Movement, speaking at the AIM West sixth annual conference in San Francisco 2013. Recorded by Censored News. Part I of IV.

From KILI Radio on Pine Ridge, to Indigenous Town in Minneapolis, the American Indian Movement made its mark in history

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- The attacks on Indigenous Peoples, from the tarsands to Indian child welfare, were topics at the start of the second day of the sixth annual AIM West Conference here, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.

Bill Means, Lakota, began with an explanation of how the so-called origin of the word "Indians" is a myth and did not refer to Columbus believing he had landed in India. Means said India did not exist in 1492. Columbus had actually referred to the people of this land as "En dios." Columbus said the people here were spiritual people and "generous to a fault."

Means said the American Indian Movement identified early the three greatest enemies of Indian people. They are the education system, churches and the US government.

Pointing out the successes of the American Indian Movement, Means said during the time of Ronald Reagan on Pine Ridge in South Dakota, the first Indian-owned radio station was created, which continues to broadcast today, KILI Radio. The first community clinic owned by the community, and not by the IHS or BIA, was also created.

In Minneapolis, AIM created survival schools, job training programs, community programs, legal rights programs, an art gallery and small businesses.

A "cultural corridor" was created on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Referring to China Town, Means said, "When you come to Minneapolis, you can go to Indigenous town."

During his talks at AIM West, Means also explained the dangers of TransCanada's tarsands that threatens Indian country. Further he described how South Dakota has declared Indian children as "special needs" in order to profiteer from child welfare.

Means described the corruption that resulted in the Cobell settlement and the hand-out mentality the Cobell payments and other current payments to American Indians perpetuate.

Means said there is now a rise once again in the "hand-out economy" attitude rather than people seeking work.

"Colonization is still taking place through these payments."

"This creates the attitude that someone will take care of you if you stay at home and do nothing."

Means said these payments have become a way to "clear the conscience of America" for genocide and stolen land.

Means also described the corporations of extractive fossil fuels that are like PacMan. He said these are corporations that eat up everything. "They are the moral equipment of PacMan."

Means, founder and board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, said, "We have a worldwide movement. We are not just talking about the Americas anymore."

Part I of IV videos. Watch for upcoming II, III and IV.

Also see: 
AIM West 2013 Jean Whitehorse, Dine' (Navajo), speaks on bias in children's literature and -- boarding schools, urban relocation and the sterilization of Indian women -- all of which she was a victim:

Music Video: Listen to the AIM Victory song at AIM West 2013

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