Bureau of Indian Affairs building takeover

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
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From: Emma Best

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Files mentioning or generated as a result of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building takeover, a protest by Native Americans at the Department of Interior headquarters in the national capital of Washington, DC from November 3 to November 9, 1972. On November 3, a group of around 500 American Indians with the American Indian Movement (AIM) took over the Interior building in Washington, D.C.. A group of protesters went to Bureau of Indian Affairs offices at the national headquarters building, intending to negotiate for better housing on reservations and other issues. Protesters began the siege after interpreting a government refusal of their demands as a doublecross. Protesters began to vandalize the building in protest. They were not evicted on the first night. The takeover quickly gained national media attention.

Protesters overturned tables and desks against the windows, fortifying against potential police attack. Some set fires in interior offices and the marble lobbies, destroying many historic documents. The demonstrators started to run out of provisions after several days. They would not allow police or any government representative to approach the building, so two children of BIA employees were recruited to bring in provisions. After a week, the protesters left, some taking documents with them, having caused an estimated $700,000 in damages. Their actions caused loss, destruction, and theft of many records, including important treaties, deeds, and water rights records.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Emma Best

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

There are eFOIA files available for you to download.

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