In 1972, motivated by prejudice in the child welfare system and hostility in the public schools, American Indian Movement (AIM) organizers and local Native parents came together to start their own community school.
While AIM is best known for its national protests and political demands, the survival schools foreground the movement's local and regional engagement with issues of language, culture, spirituality and identity. In recounting the evolution of the Heat of the Earth school in Minneapolis and the Red School House in St.Paul, Julie Davis explains how the survival schools emerged out of AIM's local activism in education, child welfare and juvenile justice and its efforts to achieve self determination over urban Indian institutions. The story of these schools, unfolding through the voices of activists, teachers, parents and students, is also an in-depth history of AIM's founding and early community organizing in the Twin Cities and evidence of its long-term effect on Indian people's lives.
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