In 1986, Native activist Mark Banks, brother of American Indian Movement leader Dennis Banks, toured Wales on behalf of AIM. He gave public lectures, met with members of the Welsh nationalist political party Plaid Cymru, and visited the graves of two Welsh nationalists killed during a bombing campaign in 1969. This talk explores the transnational political alliances that AIM forged with Welsh nationalist movements from the 1970s onward, which culminated in the 1986 tour. While respecting the differences that were essential to the movements’ assertions of distinct peoplehood, the activists involved recognized common threads in their struggle and realized that their relationships with other movements could be a powerful engine for change, through exchanging knowledge and simply working together. These networks were significant for shaping the visions and practical tactics of the activists, as well as inspiring the groups involved to continue their struggle.
Kate Williams was born and raised in Wales, and completed a Ph.D. in History at the University of Minnesota. Her project, "Cyd-Safiad (Standing Together): The Politics of Alliance of Welsh and American Indian Rights' Movements, 1960s-Present," explores how the American Indian Movement and Welsh nationalists formed transnational political alliances with each other and related groups worldwide, from Australian Aborigines to Irish Republicans, and analyzes the practical and ideological significance of the relationships.