Collapse [ ]
54 contact sheets (black and white)
35 mm. (black and white, 8 x 10 in.)
- Collection ID:
National Museum of the American Indian
The majority of Pearse-Hocker's momentous negatives give eyewitness account to two weeks of both the mundane and brutal reality of daily life during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The takeover of the town and the conflict between about 200 members of AIM (American Indian Movement, the Native American civil rights activist organization begun in the 1968) and the United States Marshals Service began on February 27 and lasted for 71 days, resulting in tragedy on both sides of the conflict. Members of AIM along with some local Oglala (Lakota) Sioux from the local reservation took over the town in protest against the United States Government's history of broken treaties with various Native groups, the poverty and maltreatment of Native populations, as well as in defiance against the corruption and paternalism within the local subsidiary of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs). The siege finally came to an end on May 5 when members of AIM and the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the US Justice Department Harlington Wood Jr. settled on a ceasefire. Kent Frizzell served as Chief Government Negotiator in the capacity of Assistant Attorney General (Land and Natural Resources Division, U. S. Department of Justice) and later as Solicitor, U. S. Department of the Interior. Among those pictured both during and post-conflict are AIM activists Dennis Banks, Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt, Ted and Russell Means, Frank Clearwater, Wallace Black Elk and Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. A small number of negatives also document AIM's takeover of the BIA building and the AIM Powwow both in Minneapolis in 1970.