Resistance as Survival Benefit Event

Seven Generations 2020

Unidentified Artist
Resistance as Survival Benefit Event
lithograph on paper
14 x 8 ½ in.
Albuquerque, Museum, gift of Diane Palley

John Trudell (Santee Sioux) first became involved with the American Indian Movement (AIM) in 1969, when the United Indians of All Tribes took over Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Trudell joined the occupation a week after it began and ran a radio show from the island until 1971, when people left Alcatraz. He served as national AIM chairperson from 1973 to 1979.

Trudell is also well known for his poetry, an art form he took up after his wife, three children, and mother-in-law died in a house fire in 1979. Many people believe the fire was set intentionally, in retaliation for Trudell’s and his wife’s activism. Poetry became his lifeline after he lost his family, and he continued his activism, performing at events like this one with Acoma poet Simon Ortiz.