American Indian Movement leader Clyde Bellecourt dies at 85

January 12, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS – Clyde Bellecourt, a leader in the Native American struggle for civil rights and a founder of the American Indian Movement, has died. He was 85.

Bellecourt died Tuesday morning from cancer at his home in Minneapolis. Bellecourt was a co-founder in 1968 of AIM, which began as a local organization in Minneapolis that sought to grapple with issues of police brutality and discrimination against Native Americans.

The group would lead a string of major national protests in the 1970s, including a 71-day occupation in 1973 of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, to highlight corruption on the reservation and federal injustices against Indians.