“I wanted to bear witness.”
For over 40 years, photographer Dick Bancroft has being doing just that, serving as the key documentarian of the American Indian Movement (AIM).
AIM was founded in Minneapolis in 1968. Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, American Indians banded together to protest their treatment by modern society and the abuse of their ancestors throughout history. Bancroft and his camera followed AIM’s fight for political, social and cultural change. His work – capturing both injustices and successes – is compiled in the book “We Are Still Here: Photographs of the American Indian Movement.”
An exhibit at the Mill City Museum is a companion to the new book. The building’s central commons showcases Bancroft’s photographs, which will be up through September 2, 2013. His images trace Native history from 1970 to 1981.
Across town, a larger exhibition of Bancroft’s photos is on display at All My Relations Gallery through June 29. Here images of racism and injustice mix with examples of American Indian strength and progress.
Clyde Bellecourt,co- founder and national director of AIM, says now is the perfect time to celebrate Bancroft’s work “because it’s time people understand how much the American Indian Movement has accomplished.”
“People are standing up today. Our language is coming back and our culture,” says Bellecourt. “There’s no way the movement can be stopped.”