IITC ( International Indian Treaty Council) was founded by AIM in 1974, and if it was ever an independent organization representing ndn country it is little more now than an AIM adjunct specializing in issuing sympathetic pro AIM, pro Peltier statements.
Often enough such statements and or “position” papers are cited by Peltier and AIM supporters as though they are definitive and representative of every nation and every indigenous person within those nations not only in this country, but the entirety of this hemisphere as well.
Nothing could be further from the truth, anymore than saying that a “movement”, a people’s movement, could be “owned”, as is Clyde Bellecourts contention when referencing AIM.
A “colonial” mindset that is reflective of an existing reality-that as a “corporation” AIM is about business and marketing a “brand”.
Another reality is that AIM was never a people’s movement in the sense that it allowed input from the rank and file commiserate with the decision making process.
Ultimately by deed and definition it can rightfully be said that AIM is, and always has been, owned by it’s founders, “board of directors” and wannabe CEOs.
And like any corporation AIM has seen it’s share of disgruntled board members seeking to ascend the corporate ladder or fomenting attempted hostile takeovers- which inevitably led to splinter groups and the identical “alphabet belts” and “governing councils” professional boxing has become synonymous with.
A classic example of this is the “Mexican standoff” that took place in Ajo, Arizona between opposing factions. The point of contention? basically little more than who was to lead the parade and get credit for an “action”.
A case study of too many chiefs and not enough Indians if ever there was one.
Nepotism and cronyism are the norm- with offspring being groomed as heirs to the throne, none of which are any more qualified to lead than those whose titles they would inherit.
The high point for AIM has come and gone-the seeds sown during their reign of terror that became known as Wounded Knee 2 and the subsequent abduction and murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash are milestones that mark the descent-the decades of lies following those events and the transparent in your face pursuit of personal revenue have accelerated the decline and increased the questions.
Questions that as a matter of rote fall upon the stone wall of the Fifth Amendment or an implied threat that has also included the welfare of children and family members.
As with all corporate heads the AIM leadership apparently feels an obscene sense of entitlement and a high degree of insulation resulting from the crafted layers of supporters they have created-as that number dwindles so too does the insulating factor.
The previous formula so heavily relied upon of invoking the race card and the victim card have lost their cachet, a difficult claim to make when those asserting it have victimized their own.
I knew a man once who belonged to the B.P.O.E.-the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks-he was a good man who I have nothing derogatory to say about-but, he was a two legged man, not a four legged antlered ruminant and never claimed to be one.
AIM claims to have be founded and populated by “warriors”, some who now also call themselves chiefs, and while they may be men depending on the readers individual interpretation they are no more warriors and chiefs than my friend was a four legged antlered elk.