You/We Have Felt the Thunder – Now the Coming of the Storm!
In Remembrance of
Co-Founder of the American Indian Movement
(May 6, 1936 – January 11, 2022)
Kwame Ture always said that when you make a mistake and don’t correct it, you’ve made two mistakes. It is with this understanding, we offer our humble apology for the lateness of our condolences, for the honor of having known and been in solidarity with Clyde Bellecourt and the American Indian Movement (AIM).
The All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) and our women’s wing, the All-African Women’s Revolutionary Union (GC) takes great pride in one of the most important lessons and demonstrative actions, that the life of our Brother Clyde Bellecourt taught, reinforced, and confirmed to his People/Nation and to all oppressed peoples summarized in a statement by the first President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, who instructed about the importance of the presentation of a People’s history. We borrow from Nkrumah’s philosophy as detailed in his book, “Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for Decolonization” in saying:
In the new Indigenous renaissance, we must place great emphasis on the presentation of history. The Indigenous Peoples history needs to be written as the history of the Indigenous society, not as the story of European adventures. Indigenous society must be treated as enjoying its own integrity; Indigenous history must be a mirror of that society, and the European contact must find its place in this history only as an Indigenous experience, even if as a crucial one. That is to say, the European contact needs to be assessed and judged from the point of view of the principles animating Indigenous society, and from the point of view of the harmony and progress of their society.
Clyde Bellecourt advanced his legacy by helping to build an educational institution, named Heart of the Earth Survival School, along with a Center for Indian Youth and an Opportunities Industrialization Center/OIC, a job program for his People/Nation in 1972 and 1998 for the sole purpose of instilling this lesson and philosophy into the minds and hearts of his People, especially the youth. We know that a forgotten past or history will create a people with a forgotten identity. We salute Clyde for this achievement in the fight against cultural imperialism and domination.
Clyde epitomized boldness, tenacity and bravery through his struggles against various forms of oppression from the 1972 march -Trail of Broken Treaties, the 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the Longest Walk Protest (5 months long) in 1978, against police brutality in 1998, spurring his participation in the resistance to an underground oil pipeline at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2016 which are acts of rebellion and resistance for the liberation of his nation (White Earth Nation) and all Indigenous Peoples’ Movements and Humanity. In this work, Clyde was a granite rock of resistance to be emulated and remembered forever.
Clyde’s ogichidaa (warrior spirit) like behavior and attitude served as an example of defiance and steadfastness against any forms of indignity and disrespect toward Indigenous Peoples’ cultures. Clyde challenged the national and international racial attitudes that were displayed in American sports and worldwide, which appeared that in his mind left him no choice, but to use the weapon of organization as the tool for change and to challenge this racist behavior. Clyde helped mobilize, develop, and coordinate activities in opposition to racism by creating an organization called The National Coalition on Racism in Sports and the Media in 1998. Clyde left us the tool of organization and showed us how to use it continuing this battle as a part of his legacy.
Finally, we know Clyde Bellecourt as a co-founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1968; a nationalist and internationalist, a freedom fighter for justice, an alliance maker and coalition builder; a U.S. Bombing/Blockade Buster (Libya); an ally and friend to Africa and African people worldwide; and to Palestine and the Palestinian People, to Ireland and the Irish People and all oppressed Peoples. This is a relationship that we, through the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Black Panther Party, All African People’s Revolutionary, All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC) have nurtured and shared with our brother Clyde, AIM and the Indigenous Peoples in the Western Hemisphere for over 54 years. The struggle continues…
The A-APRP (GC) sends revolutionary condolences to Clyde’s biological and ideological families, friends, and allies of his works & life’s mission. The A-APRP (GC) does not mourn Clyde’s transition to the ancestors, but his legacy inspires us to pick up his torch of independence, dignity, sovereignty, liberation, justice, peace, and freedom and carry it to the finish line. On this day, Thursday, January 27, 2022, we make our final salute to: NeeGawNwayWeeDun – Clyde Bellecourt.
We Stand, Ready for the Revolution,
Secretary, Pan-African and International Affairs