In Memorial: Listen to Charlie Hill at AIM's 40 Year Reunion
By Brenda Norrell
SAN FRANCISCO -- Oneida Comedian Charlie Hill appeared on stage with Keith Secola during the American Indian Movement’s 40 Year Reunion in November of 2008.
Charlie Hill’s memories span the great events and great heroes of the American Indian Movement. Hill said AIM brought the pride and fire that is here today.
“They raised hell and stood up when no one else did.”
Hill said AIM brought to the forefront the realities of treaty rights and sovereignty, and galvanized the hearts, adding that American Indians hold the answers.
“We have the owner’s manual."
“We’re the ones who can fix this country”
HIll said there needs to be more women in the forefront of the movement at the gatherings.
“The strength of the community is women.”
HIll also remembered Russell Means.
“I loved him because everyone was afraid of him.”
Hill said the truth was Russell had a great sense of humor.
Russell told him, “Anytime you insult me, I feel honored.”
Among those he remembered were Floyd Westerman, Bill Wahpepah and the Vernon Bellecourt.
HIll said he loves coming to San Francisco because of the consciousness raised here.
Hill urged everyone in the movement to unite. While earlier times called for armed struggle, he said now is the time for spirituality.
“It is stronger than anything that the US can throw at us.”
Hill said American Indians survived all the attempts to christianize and sanitize the people.
The music of the movement was that of Floyd Westerman and Buffy Sainte Marie.
Hill said they should be honored.
“They opened the door.”