Julia Miller Cantzler
Between 1969 and 1978, American Indians from urban and rural areas engaged in a series of highly visible protest events that brought national attention to the poverty, discrimination, and feelings of powerless-ness and alienation experienced by tribal people as a result of centuries of military, political, and cultural domination by the U.S. government. This period, known as the Red Power era, is distinguishable from other episodes of American Indian political activism by its focus on pan-Indian issues rather than local, tribally based concerns, and its use of dynamic, visible, and highly symbolic protest events to gain pubic and media attention. Examples of such events include the seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) headquarters and the occupation of Alcatraz Island. Although most protest events that occurred during the Red Power era were peaceful, there were a couple of notable exceptions, including the highly publicized 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee ...