John Trudell Archives, Inc. was created as a non-profit organization to serve as a library for the thousands of words and writings created by Native American poet, actor, spoken word artist, and activist John Trudell.
Your donations will help cover the costs for inventorying and archiving Trudell’s words, as well as to provide scholarships to Native communities and international poetry and literature youth programs.
When donating, please indicate if you’d like to support the Scholarship Fund, Archival Fund and/or both.
John Trudell (1946-2015) was a leader for the Indian of All Tribes Occupation of Alcatraz in 1969, and went on to serve as Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973-1979. On February 11, 1979, he burned an American flag on the steps of the F.B.I J. Edgar Hoover building in Washington D.C., as he’d been taught in the military to burn the flag once it had been desecrated; and the US government’s treatment of Native Americans and its classism and racism had desecrated the flag. Some 12 hours after the flag incident, a fire “of suspicious origin” burned down Trudell’s home on the Shoshone-Paiute reservation in Nevada, killing Trudell’s pregnant wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother.
The F.B.I. declined to investigate, and the blaze was officially ruled an “accident.” After the fire, Trudell turned his tears into writing poetry and later, spoken word music and acting. A lifelong activist and human rights advocate, he was quoted as saying “I’m just a human being trying to make it in a world that is rapidly losing its understanding of being human.”