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Until World War II, the U.S. policy towards the first Americans was to assimilate them otherwise, remove them. In removing them, the U.S. at many times, took advantage of them in gaining their support just to be discarded with later. It was the effective use of the Indians in World War II that the U.S. began to appreciate their value. By then, the Indians increasingly became literate to the Anglican ways and began demonstrating political abilities through DIME (diplomacy, information, military, and economic) efforts. Their unnoticed movement became formalized. In series of advancements and one major political event of the 1960s, a group of Indians in the California area moved in and occupied Alcatraz with the intent of acquiring the land as their own. For a long time, the U.S. took the position of waiting it out which ultimately fed into the Indians underlying motives of putting attention on the maltreatment of the first Americans. It came to an end when a fire broke out and destroyed facilities on the island. The president of the U.S. gave the order to plan a low impact extraction of the occupiers.[i] Regardless of their removal from Alcatraz, formal recognition in Washington D.C. occurred and new policy to provide restitution for the multi-century abuses took shape. The American Indian Movement, formalized in 1968,[ii] received attention equitable to the Civil Rights Movement. Its core objective is to reinvigorate spirituality and in its infancy, the movements leaders caravanned to the U.S. capital to lay claim to twenty distinct issues that occurred since 1849.[iii] From 1968 through 1999, the movement organized forty-six various activities in pursuit of the claims. Since then, the movement has annual conferences and banquets just as most other political and special interest organizations do.[iv] Although in many perspectives the first Americans were not to survive European advancement on their new world, the natives did survive. They endured many hardships and were taken greatly advantage of just to be discarded. However, in the mid-1900s, the Indians found their political worth and took a stand where they moved in and occupied another mans land. They failed their tactical objective but won their strategic goals. The American Indian Movement has made great progress in restoring their spirituality and gaining their place in the U.S. presence.
[i] Troy Johnson, The Alcatraz Indian Occupation,� National Park Service, accessed on May 20, 2017, https://www.nps.gov/alca/learn/historyculture/we-hold-the-rock.htm
[ii] Josh Clough, �American Indian Movement,� Oklahoma Historical Society, accessed on May 20, 2017, http://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry.php?entry=AM008
[iii] Laura, Waterman, �A Brief History of the American Indian Movement,� American Indian Movement, accessed on May 20, 2017,� http://www.aimovement.org/ggc/history.html
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