Tuesday July 5th 2022

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Giga-Waabamin Nee-Gon-We-Way-We-Dun

Neegonwewaywedun “Thunder Before the Storm” A.K.A Clyde Bellecourt, Co-Founder of the American Indian Movement

Prominent Indigenous elder to local and nation-wide communities Nee-Gon-We-Way-We-Dun (Thunder Before the Storm in Ojibwe), also known as Clyde Bellecourt (White Earth Nation), passed to the spirit world January 11th, 2022.

His dedication and steadfast work for the lives and heritage of Indigenous people worldwide — fighting against police brutality; establishing and keeping Little Earth of United Tribes; initiating programs for health, education, safety, language, legal rights, cultural heritage, and education; advocating against racist sports names, icons, and mascots; and co-founding the American Indian Movement (AIM) —  was obvious locally and has been chronicled, in part, by the alley newspaper since the paper’s beginning in 1975.

The alley newspaper is honored to memorialize him with this excerpt from a New Years reflection by Laura Waterman Wittstock, published in the December 1991 issue.

Laura Waterman Wittstock, Heron clan from the Seneca Nation, passed to the spirit world in January 2021.

Prologue: THE DAMN TRUTH “YOU CAN PRAY ALL DAY AND NIGHT, but if you don’t work damn hard you ain’t gonna get what you want. That’s the way I believe, you know? You see a tornado coming, know what you do? Put your tobacco out and pray. You know what you do next? Head for the basement. The Creator will help you, but you’ve got to help yourself. We in the American Indian Movement made a decision when we formed in 1968: if need be, we’d give our lives for what we believed. No longer would we allow our people to be victimized without fighting back.“- 2018, The Thunder Before the Storm: The Autobiography of Clyde Bellecourt by Clyde Bellecourt, as told to Jon Lurie

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