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USH B 3.2 Part II : Explore the occupations at Wounded Knee and Alcatraz

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Wounded Knee
The mismanagement by the federal government played a significant role in causing the occupations at Wounded Knee. Throughout American history, the federal government's policies and actions towards American Indian tribes have often been marked by broken treaties, forced relocations, and inadequate support for tribal communities. These policies have resulted in the loss of tribal lands, the erosion of tribal sovereignty, and the undermining of American Indian culture and identity. In the case of Wounded Knee, the federal government's mismanagement of American Indian affairs had created a climate of frustration and resentment among the Oglala Lakota people. The Oglala Lakota, like many other American Indian tribes, had experienced decades of broken promises and mistreatment at the hands of the federal government. The government's failure to honor treaties and protect tribal lands had left many American Indians feeling marginalized and powerless. The occupations at Wounded Knee were a series of protests and standoffs that took place at the Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, primarily in 1973. The site holds historical significance as the location of the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890, where U.S. troops killed approximately 150 Lakota Sioux, many of whom were women and children.In 1973, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and other American Indian activists occupied the town of Wounded Knee to protest the federal government's treatment of American Indians and to demand greater respect for American Indian rights and sovereignty. The activists believed that the federal government had failed to honor treaties, protect tribal lands, and address the social and economic issues facing American Indian communities.The occupation lasted for 71 days and was marked by armed standoffs between the activists and federal law enforcement agencies. The activists faced harsh conditions during the occupation, including a lack of food and shelter, as well as frequent clashes with law enforcement.

USH.7.2 Analyze the ongoing social and political transformations within the United States.C. Describe the goals and effectiveness of the American Indian movements on tribal identity and sovereignty including the American Indian Movement (AIM) and mismanagement by the federal government causing the occupations at Wounded Knee and Alcatraz.

1. Broken Treaties and Land Loss: Historically, the federal government had signed treaties with American Indian tribes, promising land and sovereignty in exchange for peace and cooperation. However, the government frequently broke these treaties, leading to the loss of tribal lands and the forced relocation of American Indian communities. This loss of land and sovereignty contributed to the sense of injustice and dispossession felt by many American Indians. 2. Termination Policy: In the 1950s and 1960s, the federal government pursued a policy of termination, which sought to assimilate American Indians into mainstream society and terminate their status as sovereign nations. This policy led to the termination of several tribal governments and the loss of federal recognition for many tribes. The termination policy further eroded tribal sovereignty and exacerbated the social and economic challenges facing American Indian communities. 3. Symbolism of Alcatraz: Alcatraz Island, the site of a former federal prison, was chosen for occupation because of its symbolic significance. American Indian activists viewed the island as symbolizing the larger issue of American Indian land rights and the government's broken promises. The occupation began on November 20, 1969, when a group of American Indian activists, including members of the group Indians of All Tribes (IOAT), landed on Alcatraz and declared the island as Indian land. The activists argued that, according to the Treaty of Fort Laramie of 1868, unused federal land was to be returned to American Indian tribes. The occupiers faced numerous challenges during their time on Alcatraz, including harsh weather conditions, limited supplies, and efforts by law enforcement to remove them from the island. Despite these challenges, the occupation received significant media attention and support from various groups and individuals across the country.4. Demand for Recognition and Change: The occupiers of Alcatraz issued a proclamation stating their demands, which included the recognition of American Indian sovereignty, the return of Alcatraz Island to American Indian, and the establishment of a American Indian cultural center and university on the island. These demands reflected a broader call for recognition, respect, and autonomy for American Indian tribes.