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National Indian Youth Council Members Crash National Congress of American Indians Parade

Seven Generations 2020

Unidentified Artist
National Indian Youth Council Members Crash National Congress of American Indians Parade
1966
gelatin silver print
5 x 7 in.
Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stan Steiner Papers, M0700, Series 3, Box 15, folder 19

Red Power, as a slogan and an ideology, did not begin with the Indians of All Tribes’ 1969 takeover of Alcatraz Island, as is popularly understood. In fact, Clyde Warrior first used “Red Power” in 1966, when he and other members of the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC) forced their way into the National Congress of American Indian’s (NCAI) convention parade in Oklahoma City. This was months after Kwame Ture — formerly known as Stokely Carmichael — coined the phrase “Black Power." The young NIYC members scandalized the more conservative NCAI members with their banner declaring “Red Power” at the top. (A banner on the other side of the car read “Custer Died for Your Sins.”)

In this image, Clyde Warrior (Ponca) sits on the front passenger side door, wearing a cowboy hat, while Mel Thom (Paiute) laughs behind him. Warrior’s wife Della Hopper Warrior (Otoe-Missouria) drives the convertible.