Thursday, November 6, 2008

AIM West celebrates 40th Year Anniversary


AIMWEST
1668 Alabama Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Mobile: (415) 577-1492
eltony@earthlink.net
http://www.aimovement.org/
http://aimwest.info

AIM-WEST, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco cordially invites you to attend The 40 Year Anniversary and Reunion of the American Indian Movement. This event will take place November 24-28, 2008 in San Francisco. Please refer to the attached announcement and www.aimwest.info for current updated information and locations:

Mon. Nov. 24, Time: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Where: Main Library S.F. 100 Larkin St & Grove-(Civic Center Bart Station) Koret Auditorium all day, conferencing & strategizing for the future;

Tues. Nov. 25, Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Where: Baha’i Center, 150 Valencia St., S.F.. Conferencing & strategizing for the future;

Wed. Nov. 26, Time: 12-6 p.m. Where: Baha’i Center, 150 Valencia St., S.F. UnThanksgiving Dinner, Ceremonies and Awards;

Thurs. Nov. 27, Time: 4-9 a.m. Where: S.F. Hornblower Tours Pier #31. Call 415-981-7625 or for advance tickets at http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/.

Fri. Nov. 28, Time: 6-10 p.m. Where: Baha’i Center, 150 Valencia St. S.F. Concert, fundraiser-Live Music.

The theme of this historic gathering is “SOMOS UN SOLO RIO!” We Are One River, and “No One is Illegal!” This includes recognition of Indigenous Nation’s inherent Right to Self-Determination, Honor and Respect for Treaties ratified by the US Congress, Protection of Sacred Sites, Freedom for Political Prisoners, and encourage U.S. to adopt the United Nations General Assembly “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. Also for discussion are strategies for “Manifesto for Change”, Green power vs Red Power a sustainable future, and stand in solidarity with our relations from Mexico, Central and South America.

The AIM reunion includes invited speakers from California Indigenous Nations, congratulatory statements from Governments, liberation movement representatives, and community organizations welcoming the occasion in solidarity with the AIM leadership, its campaigns and events, and provide a direction for future activities and actions to consider.

The women and men of the AIM-the warriors, leaders, marchers, occupiers, and dancers-reflect the many faces of AIM, a forty year old struggle with its roots in a 516 year history of oppression. The names that sparked AIM are too numerous to be included here. Countless efforts contributed to AIM. Many whose stories are not told here have continued to inspire.

“Spiritually, culturally, socially, economically and politically across the country, we developed an indigenous philosophy for the Indian nation,” said Vernon Bellecourt, AIM spokesperson. “For the nation to heal, we had to start nurturing the roots. AIM developed the highway to get on if people want to get back to our traditional, spiritual way of life.”

AIM founded or inspired organizations including American Indian OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center), Legal Rights Center, Little Earth of United Tribes Housing, Native American Community Clinic, Migizi Communications and Indian education that began with Little Red School House and Heart of the Earth Survival Schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. AIM members brought the plight of Indian people to the attention of the world community through the creation of the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), a United Nations non-governmental organization based in San Francisco.

The IITC was founded in 1974 at a gathering by the American Indian Movement in Standing Rock, South Dakota attended by more than 5,000 representatives of 98 Indigenous Nations throughout the Americas. In 1977, the IITC became the first organization of Indigenous Peoples to be recognized as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Despite the history and the accomplishments, AIM is difficult to identify for some people. It seems to stand for many things at once-the protection of treaty rights and the preservation of spirituality and culture. But what else? Unlike the American civil rights movement, with which it has been compared, AIM has seen self-determination and racism differently. Desegregation was not a goal. Individual rights were not placed ahead of the preservation of Native Nation sovereignty. At the 1971 AIM national conference it was decided that translating policy to practice meant building organizations—schools and housing and employment services.

Over the years, as the organizations have grown, they have continued to serve the community from a base of Indian culture. Before AIM in 1968, culture had been weakened in most Indian communities due to U.S. policy, the American boarding schools and all the other efforts to extinguish Indian secular and spiritual life. Now, many groups cannot remember a time without culture. This great revival has also helped to restore spiritual leaders and elders to their former positions of esteem for the wisdom and the history they can teach. All of these actions are in concert with the principles of AIM and came into being at this time in history because Indian people have refused to relinquish their sovereign right to exist as free and non-colonized people.

AIM-WEST was established to bring about awareness on issues that concern or affect Indians of the Americas on a daily basis. Further, it advocates for communities to establish strategic processes, procedures for standard setting, and for the betterment and well-being of all Indigenous peoples. AIM-WEST addresses issues implicit in international laws and standards related to human rights, the environment, and promotes and show cases cultural and traditional events to complement the diversity of Indigenous peoples representative from throughout the Americas and Pacific region. It is common knowledge San Francisco is that microcosm of the new American Indian merging together in mainstream USA today.

The general public is invited to attend. The press and media welcomed. Wheel chair accessible.

Contact: Tony Gonzales – 415-577-1492
John Powers – 415-559-9724

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