Pan-Indianism is a movement of Aboriginal resistance to domination and assimilation and is characterized primarily by political and religious expression and solidarity. Key historical figures include Pontiac and Handsome Lake. Leaders since colonial times have advocated that Aboriginal people free themselves, even if this means violence. The Peyote Cult, a reaction to Christian teachings and beliefs, originated in the southern plains area during the later 19th century and gradually symbolized the unity of indigenous people across North America. Red Power is pan-Indian sentiment committed to radical political action, as in the National Congress of American Indians (1944) and the American Indian Movement (1968). These rights-oriented groups believe that Aboriginal people must choose between assimilation and being Aboriginal people, and that Canadian and American government obligations to Aboriginal people are binding.

See also Aboriginal People, Political Organization and Activism.