Clyde Bellecourt

Clyde Howard Bellecourt (May 8, 1936 – January 11, 2022) was a Native American civil rights organizer.[1] His Ojibwe name is Nee-gon-we-way-we-dun, which means "Thunder Before the Storm".[2] He founded the American Indian Movement (AIM) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1968 with Dennis Banks, Eddie Benton-Banai, and George Mitchell. His elder brother, Vernon Bellecourt, was also active in the movement.

Clyde Bellecourt
Neegonnwayweedun
Bellecourt speaking at ASU in 2016
Born(1936-05-08)May 8, 1936
DiedJanuary 11, 2022(2022-01-11) (aged 85)
OccupationCivil rights organizer
Known forCo-founding the American Indian Movement
RelativesVernon Bellecourt (brother)

Under Bellecourt's leadership, AIM succeeded in raising awareness of tribal issues. AIM shone a light on police harassment in Minneapolis. Bellecourt founded successful "survival schools" in the Twin Cities to help Native American children learn their traditional cultures. In 1972, he initiated the march to Washington, D.C. called the Trail of Broken Treaties, hoping to renegotiate federal-tribal nations' treaties. Non-profit groups he founded are designed to improve economic development for Native Americans.[3]


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