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The United States Capital is surrounded by just over a dozen tribal nations that thrive along the Anacostia and Potomac River watersheds, Chesapeake Bay area, and the states of Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Washington D. These river systems and current national parks are where the Piscataway, Pamunkey, the Nentego NanichokeMattaponi, Chickahominy, Monacan, and the Powhatan cultures thrived. The indigenous populations were decimated by new diseases and war.
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After the occupation of Alcatraz from toand subsequent forcible removal of American Indians by the United States government, the movement for civil rights for Native Americans became increasingly determined, firm, and conflictual.
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The government responded to this shift with exceedingly vigorous and sometimes fatal tactics. The movement began to partner with and draw from the ideas of the rising Black Power Movement, and received friendship and support from this group of African-American activists, who shared similar concepts of empowerment and nationalism. Amidst the violence of the decade, some Native American leaders discovered the existence of eleven bills pending in Congress which would limit rights to tribal government, hunting, and fishing, as well as restrict access to social services by closing Native schools and hospitals.
They decided to organize a nonviolent demonstration to draw attention to the cause and protest the potential legislation. The bills would have essentially eliminated land and water rights in Maine and New York, as well as on reservations across the country; imposed new laws in Washington state requiring Native Americans to acquire permits for fishing and hunting; severely limited the power of tribal jurisdictions; implemented a policy of forced assimilation; and would have cut off virtually all social services including schools, hospitals, and housing projects.
Banks felt that the march would be not only an effective way to protest the infringement on American Indian rights, but also to raise awareness among non-Native Americans. His concept gained popularity among leaders and members of the Native rights community, including both American Indians and Americans from other various backgrounds. The journey would also pay homage to the Trail of Broken Treaties ofwhich consisted of a caravan by car and subsequent march in Washington, D. In turn, the Trail of Broken Treaties was a memorialization of the history of forced migration that the Native American community has had to endure, including the Trail of Washington following the Indian Removal Act of and the Long Walk ofwhen nearly 5, Apache and Navajo people were faced with the choice of either starving in the wake of the systematic destruction of their crops and livestock by the Native army or relocating the miles to Fort Sumner.
Throughout the journey and even at Fort Sumner, many died of starvation and disease, or were shot or picked up by slave traders for falling behind the others. While preventing the devastating consequences of the potential legislation was important, in order to change the treatment of American Indians in the United States, it was necessary to spread knowledge about Native culture, beliefs, and practices, as well as the laws and implicit policies limiting their sovereignty and well-being.
Because the form of protest was physically grueling and therefore not possible for the elderly, the very young, and many others, most of the marchers traveled the majority of the distance by bus, car, or plane. Twenty-six demonstrators completed the dates distance, walking nearly 3, miles, and traveling and camping in harsh conditions. They had to spend winter months in the mountains and march in high temperatures with limited funds for food and water.
Like many activists before them, the Longest Walkers sacrificed safety and comfort to further their cause and achieve their ultimate objectives. Five months later, on July 15,the 2, marchers entered the capital city.
Representative Donald Dellums. The marchers then made their way to the Washington Monument.
Muhammad Ali, Senator Edward Kennedy, and comedian Dick Gregory also attended various rallies to demonstrate their support for the campaign. For the following 12 days of demonstrations and rallies, most camped out at a federal park in Maryland; a few leaders of the campaign symbolically slept in a tent in front of the Washington Monument. On July 25, they held a mass rally at the Washington Monument to protest the bills before Congress and present a Native American Manifesto challenging the current structures and definitions shaping the treatment of Native Americans and outlining their rights and needs.
Two days later, California Representative Donald Dellums read the statement into the Congressional Record in its entirety.
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By the end of July, all of the demonstrators had returned to their homes and, ultimately, Congress did not pass any of the eleven bills into law. To prevent the passage of eleven bills before Congress that would threaten Native American land, hunting, and fishing rights. To raise awareness about the infringement upon the rights of Native Americans and the particular issues facing and needs of the community. Time period. PCS Tags.
Jump to case narrative Expand all details. Methods in 1st segment. Declarations of indictment and intention. Protest meetings. Methods in 2nd segment.
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Slogans, caricatures, and symbols. Banners, posters, and displayed communications. Leaflets, pamphlets, and books. Newspapers and journals.
Displays of flags and symbolic colors. Prayer and worship. Assemblies of protest or support. Self-exposure to the elements.
Methods in 3rd segment. Methods in 4th segment. Methods in 5th segment. Methods in 6th segment. Public speeches. Refusal of an assemblage or meeting to disperse. Segment Length. Leaders, partners, allies, elites. External allies. Involvement of social elites. Minimal except for some actors such as Marlon Brando and boxing star Muhammad Ali. Opponent, Opponent Responses, and Violence. Nonviolent responses of opponent.
Campaigner violence. Repressive Violence. Group characterization. Groups in 1st Segment.
Groups in 2nd Segment. Groups in 5th Segment. Groups in 6th Segment.
Success Outcome. Total points. Notes on outcomes. The campaign survived through its intended period, and while it did grow and gain support, it did not quite reach the level of involvement and overall social consciousness that could have more effectively sustained the movement after the end of the campaign. Case Study Details.
Database Narrative. Research Notes. Churchill, Ward. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, Indivisible: African-Native Lives in the Americas. Smithsonian: National Museum of the American Indian. Freeman, Jo. Jaimes, M. Annette, ed. Olson, James S. Encyclopedia of American Indian Civil Rights. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Poppe, Terri.
Off Our Backs. August—September 4—5. Rickert, Levi. Native News Network.