What Are the Goals of the American Indian Movement?

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The American Indian Movement is an organization whose two main goals are to protect the rights of Native Americans and perpetuate the spiritual and cultural independence of the Native peoples. This organization is a formal advocacy group to advance the lives of Native peoples.

The American Indian Movement (AIM) was founded in July, 1968, in Minneapolis, Minn., in response to a myriad of civil and human rights violations against Native peoples. According to AIM's official website, the movement existed informally for centuries prior. In 1972, AIM collaborated with other Native American groups to address Washington, D.C., in what became known as the Trial of Broken Treaties. Among the demands put forth, AIM sought freedom from taxation, commerce and trade regulations. This would facilitate in creating a sovereign Native Nations independent in function from the United States government. Further, AIM sought the disbandment of Bureau of Indian Affairs along with federal protection against violence against Native peoples.

AIM has been compared to the civil rights movement and organizations that fought for American civil rights. AIM has collaborated with the Black Panther Party and participated in the Rainbow Coalition. However, according to AIM's official website, AIM differs from these organizations in its desire for independence in contrast to desegregation. Its initial reason for formation was the desire to create a sense of cross tribal unity and address treaty and governing issues.