Law | National

Kevin Abourezk: Wounded Knee trials remembered in Nebraska





"Feb. 27, 1973, the day of the awakening. The day nearly 200 Native activists took over the village of Wounded Knee. The day the eyes of the nation became fixed on a little-known place in a dusty corner of South Dakota.

A senior in high school then, Beaumont Bordeaux heard about the takeover the same day he sprained his ankle playing basketball. On his way to the hospital, he listened to radio reports of armed militants holding hostages and demanding action against tribal leaders they called corrupt. Not long after, Bordeaux moved to Lincoln to work for his uncle’s plumbing business.

Then the American Indian Movement came to town. And the young man who had avoided being seen as sympathetic to the movement decided it was time to stand up.

“It was a big time for us as Indian people,” Bordeaux said. “Our culture had really been revitalized.”

Among those AIM leaders who inspired Bordeaux and so many other young Natives to take pride in their culture was Russell Means. His death last week from cancer sparked memories for many of those who took part in the Wounded Knee trials in Lincoln from July 1974 to January 1975.

“He was always proud to be an Indian and brought that to the people,” Bordeaux said."

Get the Story:
Kevin Abourezk: Remembering the Wounded Knee trials (The Lincoln Journal Star 10/29)

Related Stories:
Kevin Abourezk: Russell Means a true catalyst in Indian Country (10/23)