Stranger In His Own Land – 1970 – Past Daily Reference Room
Click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio Second Sunday – The American Indian: Stranger In His Own Land – May 10, 1970 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The 1960s brought an examination of what was wrong with society and a beginning of an awareness of what was needed in order to change it. In the late 1960s movements like AIM (American Indian Movement) came about to bring awareness of a centuries old struggle between a continent’s indigenous people and the settlers who stole it away. The struggle between Native American Indians and the people who migrated, cajoled, and eliminated an entire nation of people in the name of progress and “manifest destiny”.
The portrayal of the American Indian in our society prior to the 1960s was one of a bloodthirsty savage, bent on killing everyone and everything in sight. But, as further investigation had proven, the accuracy of the story was more along opposite lines than the told one.
And in an era where Civil Rights were being argued and fought for, the rights of Native Americans were somehow ignored and overlooked.
But in the late 1960s that was about to end.
In 1970, as the protests against the Vietnam War were reaching fever-pitch, so too were the protests by AIM and others of the Native American community. The two most notable protests were the occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay beginning in 1969 and the confrontation at Wounded Knee in 1973.
This one-hour documentary, part of the monthly radio series Second Sunday over the NBC Radio Network, tries to give some background, not only to the protests but to the situation that brought the protests about. It was originally broadcast on May 10, 1970 – and most likely took something of a backseat to the situations which were going on at Kent and Jackson State Colleges during that week.
But it was a story that grew in intensity and stature and continues to this day. In 1970 things were just getting started.
Nobody ever said the 70s were dull.
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