Tuesday, November 14, 2006


FBI Lies Part Two

"The dog soldiers were the elite military organizations in the tribe. They were the last line of defense for the people. And so they were greatly esteemed. The warriors in the society were outfitted with a particular sash, which trailed the ground. And each member carried a sacred arrow. And in time of battle, the dog soldier would impale the sash to the ground and stand the ground to the death. They had a song which only the members could sing, and only in the face of death. So you can imagine, that children, when they saw a dog soldier go by, must have just -- Ahhh, wow! Look at that guy, he's a dog soldier!" N. Scott Momaday

The FBI has used the image of Plains Indian Dog Soldiers to frighten the white public. During Leonard Peltier’s trial they said that American Indian Movement Dog Soldiers were coming to town. The allusion was that AIM’s biggest and baddest were coming to break their brother Leonard Peltier out of jail.

Extra protection was provided for the jurors. The windows on their bus were painted black. Nilak Butler said that she and her friend with her children were made to hide while the jurors unloaded. Nilak said the FBI didn’t want people to see AIM as every day people, like mothers with children. AIM had to be seen as dark and dangerous, a threat to white existence.

At that time the FBI still wore Robert Stack’s face as Elliot Ness in the public mind. They were elegant cops in their business suits and grim professional manner. They mowed down underworld gangsters with machine guns. They had to do that to protect the public and the American Dream.

In real life and real time during the 1960’s people of color began banding together to find ways to improve life for their people. The Black Panther Party began serving breakfast to school kids. They simply wanted to give children of color a fighting chance in the classroom.

The Black Panther Party was infiltrated and destroyed by the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program. Those stylish cops kicked in Panther doors and murdered their leadership just like Robert Stack had done to the mob.

The white American public barely batted an eye as they watched the grandchildren of slaves be beaten and murdered for demanding simple human dignity.

When the FBI turned to the American Indian Movement they changed tactics. They wore fatigues and carried rifles. They staged a military style invasion and occupation on the miniature third world country, the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Most American Indians lived on remote poor reservations. Up until that time the FBI were basically urban cops. Most of the FBI’s Indian war was fought on the Pine Ridge reservation.

In February 1973 the Oglalla Sioux Civil Rights Organization sent out word to all Indian activists to come and help occupy the little town of Wounded Knee. Indians came from Canada and the United States.

The occupation was quickly surrounded by the FBI, US Marshals, BIA police, the United States Army, and white vigilantes. The little village was held for 71 days.

Pine Ridge was a small version of a third world country. There was a corrupt Tribal Chairman that was a dictator with a personal guard called the goon squad. Pine Ridge had uranium. That meant nothing to the Tribal members, but meant big money to the United States government.

Did the FBI foment civil war on the Pine Ridge reservation in order to steal land and uranium from the Lakota? According to Buffy St Marie interview in the documentary “In the spirit of Annie Mae,” Anna Mae was very much involved in researching uranium mining on reservations. She talked about it a lot.

Buffy St. Marie was a friend of Anna Mae Aquash. She says Anna Mae told her that she was being stalked. Anna Mae confided that she thought the stalkers were “government folks.”


The FBI seemed to test public reaction to the bloody murders of Black Panther leaders. There was no outcry as Panthers were shot as they slept. Few cared that some Black Panthers were convicted of murders they couldn’t have committed.

White America seemed afraid of possible revenge from a Black uprising. They were willing to accept the unacceptable behavior of various city police and the FBI in their disruption of Black Unity.

AIM men grew their hair long. Aim women also let their hair grow out and wore it straight and free. It was a simple declaration. Boarding Schools had cut our hair. To us that was a symbol of shame or mourning. We took back our own sense of beauty and pride.

News photos showed armed AIM warriors against the skyline holding rifles with eagle feathers fluttering in the wind. The leadership made bold, tough, witty statements on the six o’clock news.

Tribal chairmen in business suits or cowboy shirts made counter-statements. President Richard Nixon formed the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association in an attempt to contain growing Indian unrest. The flames of civil war were lit as the Tribes elected officials were pitted against their own people. The fire grew hottest on Pine Ridge.

The FBI sent Doug Durham to infiltrate the American Indian Movement at the top. He was a white man who pretended to be Indian. He dyed his hair black, dressed and strutted like the AIM warriors.

He is a haunting figure but in a different way than Anna Mae. How did this white FBI agent gain access to AIM’s inner circle? How was he able to trick key people into believing that he was Indian?

He had needed skills. He was a photographer, writer and pilot. He had access to money or whatever the AIM leadership needed. He was a man who could get things done. He made himself indispensable to Dennis Banks, AIM’s top leader.

The FBI spread rumors that certain AIM members were informers or collaborators. The FBI would arrest Anna Mae along with her friends. She would be released before everyone else. The FBI carefully set her up. It looked like she was cooperating with the FBI.

Doug Durham was exposed as an informer. He was allowed to leave. No retaliation was taken. He wasn’t even slapped around for his crimes. What damage did he do as Director of National Security for AIM?

Anna Mae was a fund raiser and organizer. Who and what was she a danger to? What information could she have provided to the FBI that Doug Durham and other informants hadn’t?

What would be the FBI’s real fear of Anna Mae? The leadership was held hostage by court cases or they were on the run. If all the men were out of the picture, would this tiny woman be in charge? She would have cleaned up AIM and gotten it back on track, in service to The People.

That didn’t happen. Anna Mae disappeared sometime during that winter of 75 – 76. Stories leaked or were leaked out.


Paul Demain said in his timeline that it would be Dog Soldier protocol for Arlo Looking Cloud to receive the gun to kill Anna Mae Aquash on Lakota Territory. Demain promotes FBI propaganda that the murder of Anna Mae Aquash was an AIM Dog Soldier operation.

Let’s pretend that Looking Cloud and Graham were Dog Soldiers. They were prepared to offer their lives to protect The People. Anna Mae would have to have been the most treacherous of collaborators for that elite warrior society to step in. If it still existed.

Would Graham and Looking Cloud have staked themselves down to shoot a woman in the back of the head?

The Dog Soldier lie is one of the most improbable. What honor would have come of killing a tiny girl? They didn’t track down and kill Doug Durham. He called a press conference to announce to the world that he was an FBI operative working at the highest levels of AIM. There was only FBI planted suspicion of Anna Mae.

Paul Demain has said that after Anna Mae’s murder several women broke off from AIM and formed the Women of All Red Nations. WARN. That was the pie patrol. They are the same women he accuses of beating Anna Mae at her alleged interrogation at the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee office.

Most of the FBI lies are improbable. Through repetition some of those lies have become accepted as truth.

It is hard to see through the fog created by the FBI and their spinmeisters. There are hard sell and soft sell attempts to stop the examination of the murder of Anna Mae Aquash.

It has been over 30 years since the disappearance and murder of Anna Mae Aquash. Some say that it is an old story and no one cares. That may be true for some people.

We will never get the truth from the FBI and the US Court System. The American Indian Movement took on the military might of the United States Government. That war was like Steve Hendricks says a battle for the soul of Indian Country.

AIM was imploded from within by infiltrators and their own failings. Massive egos and ambitions of the leadership divided the loyalties of the rank and file of AIM membership. The FBI took advantage of that.

What stood up at the occupation of the BIA in 1972 and the occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 was the best part of us. It was defiled by the developing science of how to destroy a people, Cointelpro.

There is a part of us that the FBI will never be able to conquer unless we personally allow it. That is our minds and souls.

I like to think that there is a Supreme Court in the next world. It is made up of all our greatest chiefs: Seattle, Joseph, Captain Jack, Crazy Horse, Geronimo and all the others.

The FBI and the US government won’t be held accountable for their atrocities against Indian People. I like to think that Anna Mae waits on the other side for retired FBI agent David Price to cross over. She will escort him before our high court to stand trial.

In the meantime we can demand truth. The FBI did nothing about the murder of Anna Mae Aquash for almost 30 years. Key witnesses have died and FBI lies have taken hold.

We can stand up for those who stood for us and gave their lives. We can use our hearts and minds to examine the story and evidence or lack of evidence.

The story of Anna Mae Aquash is a big one. It is the modern day wrongdoings of the US government. It is the promise and failure of the American Indian Movement. It is the story of the best and worst in us. We must own it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006



The FBI tale played out in the four day trial of Arlo Looking Cloud. The lies they had been laying for years came together in the story that was told at the trial. It can be found on Jordan Dill and Paul Demain’s sites. They have promoted the FBI story for years. http://www.dickshovel.com/time.html

A new book by Steve Hendricks chronicles the history of the war between the American Indian Movement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is called “The Unquiet Grave.” One of the casualties of that war was Anna Mae Aquash. She was unquestionably the most charismatic and intelligent AIM member to come out of that era.

Hendricks sued the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain new documents. The first chapter and the endnotes are published on his site. http://www.stevehendricks.org/

The endnotes are critical reading because they cite new documents forced from the FBI hands. These new FOIA documents could radically change things for Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham. They tell a different story than the one crafted by the United States Government.


There was once a young lady called Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. She was beautiful and smart. She was a Mic Mac Indian born of red earth. Her heart pumped blood and revolution.

She was audacious in her defiance of the FBI’s firepower and treachery. She didn’t run when her friends chose to believe those FBI lies that she was a traitor.

A body was found in the South Dakota badlands on February 24 1976. The FBI said she had died of exposure about 10 days before. A second autopsy said she didn’t freeze to death. She was killed by a bullet to the brain.

Hendricks notes the description of three different girls. They were three different heights, three different weights. Did Dr. Brown actually autopsy a girl that died of exposure?

The FBI had the Wanblee body’s hands cut off and sent to Washington, for identification they said. The FBI said that while this was not normal procedure it was not unusual either.

This brings up some horrible thoughts. If there were three bodies, were they buying time by severing the hands and sending them to Washington DC for identification? Or did they sever the hands because the body in the first autopsy was not Anna Mae?

Could Anna Mae have still been alive when the Wanblee body was found by the rancher Amiotte? On page 391 of “The Unquiet Grave” endnotes FBI agent David Price states in a memo that he had Anna Mae under surveillance in February 1976. He describes the clothes she was wearing. The names of the people she was with and the place they were seen are blacked out.

Could the people Anna Mae was with in February of 1976 be the real killers? Were they imbedded operatives? Are they still among us?

Anna Mae was no martyr waiting to happen. She was experienced in self defense. She knew karate. She knew how to live with the land.

It is ironic that the FBI and their spin meisters now portray her as a pathetic victim. They say she was overwhelmed and taken prisoner by two young men Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham and a middle aged woman Theda Nelson Clark. In reality she could have defended herself if she wanted to.

The court accepted FBI story says she was tied to a board and put into the back of a Ford Pinto. She was a tiny lady, five foot two and one hundred and ten pounds. It would be impossible to fit a board the length of even a girl that small into the back of a tiny Ford Pinto car.

The appeals court said in their denial of his appeal, that if Arlo helped carry her from the house tied to a board, then he knew she was to be killed. No one asked how a board with a five foot two woman tied to it could be fit into the rear compartment of a Ford Pinto.

Anna Mae was driven to Rapid City allegedly to be questioned by the Wounded Knee Legal Offense Defense Committee. What happened to the board and the ropes that bound her? There is no more mention of her being bound to a board. If they had managed to fit her tied to a board into the Pinto cubbyhole, then when was she released from it? There isn’t a description of her being carried into Thelma Rios’ empty apartment still tied to that silly board.

If the interrogation did happen, where were Arlo, John and Theda during the interrogation of Anna Mae? Did they go back to the apartment to sleep or were they cooling their heels outside the office?

Why did they go to Dick Marshall’s house? If they were intent on murder why did they leave a trail a mile wide and create so many witnesses? Why did they try to leave her with the Marshalls?

Were they sent to Bill Means house on Rosebud? Who sent them and why? If they were ordered to take Anna Mae to Bill Means house then why did they try to leave her with Dick Marshall? Was this hapless wandering part of a direct action or is it a story to implicate as many AIM members as possible?

Our desolate, lethal trio hobble back to Pine Ridge with Anna Mae in tow. They look for a safe out of the way place to kill her. Why did they have to kill her on Pine Ridge? Why didn’t they kill her at Rosebud if they received orders there? Why did they leave her body to be found?

Why didn’t they take the time to bury her? No one would have found her body if they had taken a little more time. There would have been no way to trace it back to anyone.

Her body was placed or left there to be found. What purpose was that to AIM? Who benefited from the murder of Anna Mae Aquash? Who benefited from the way the FBI says it happened?

Anna Mae had many chances to escape if she wanted to. Would the karate expert have walked placidly to her death? She had two young daughters to live for. She would have fought to live for the two most important people in her life.

Once there was a young lady named Anna Mae Aquash. She shot through our lives like a comet across the night sky. She was bold and beautiful and smart.

Anna Mae once said that anyone who walks in my footsteps will know what I know. Is there anyone brave enough to do what she was killed for?

She called Paul Giese on December 20 1975 and told her she would see her after the holidays. Could Paula have proven that Anna Mae was still alive after December 12 1975?

Did the US government wait until key witnesses were dead to bring this case to court?

A new book by Steve Hendricks, “The Unquiet Grave” quotes new Freedom of Information Act documents obtained from the FBI for his book. New interviews and FOIA documents are referenced in the endnotes.

Hendricks cites a memo that shows that the FBI was concerned about Anna Mae’s meteoric rise within AIM and her growing influence. Was the FBI worried that Anna Mae could be the Red Messiah that might unite us?

Could the real reason that she was killed was that she was a person of the people. She could talk to the educated and uneducated, the Indian and non-Indian. She could have brought all of us together. That was her danger.

I believe our teaching that we don’t get out of this life until our work is done. In my heart I have a sinking feeling that if Anna Mae had lived, life would be different, better for us.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


(Ward in Wonderland)

We understand each other through myth. During the Creation times our world was dark. We had to steal light and fire. I can say we flew to the sun and stole light. A Mohawk and Cherokee from back east, a Sioux from the plains and a Pueblo from the desert will understand that an act of mythic proportion has just taken place. They may have different Creation stories, but they will understand the meaning.

We can call each other into line and remind each other of familial obligations with one word, “cuz.” “Don’t hurt me, we have the same blood,” or “Watch it, don’t shame our family.”

We mourn with the Cherokee when they tell the story of how their Ancestors were hounded from their homelands and force marched halfway across this continent. We can feel the old ones and babies, those too weak to keep up and those that starved.

Our eyes shine with tears and pride and defiance when we see photos of the great Chiefs that broke out of our reservations and made the last desperate fights. They were killed or exiled to lands they weren’t made for, an unspeakable punishment for an Indian. You are born of your land. She takes care of you and feeds you and holds you in her embrace when your journey is over.

I received emails from people who told me they bawled like a baby when they read about my Tribe having to remove the remains of our Ancestors from an old village site where the State of Washington wanted to build a graving yard. It took over a year for the Tribal Council to get a backbone and tell the State to stop and leave.

Today is Tribal elections. I received a flyer from a campaigning councilman telling how much he has done and will do. He talked of how many jobs the graving yard will provide and how much money it will bring in. They have sold us out for money. That is their admission. Both councilmen rewon their positions. We had a chance to change things, to protect our ancestors and we blew it……….again.

We have all these stories in common. We have experienced the loss of lands, the death of our people, the outlawing of our religions and languages and the betrayal of our own leaders.

We have survived the genocide. Many “tax paying citizens” now deny that a holocaust happened here in the United States, like the skinheads deny that a holocaust in Germany happened.

We know that aging is a natural progression. On our reservations there are people that everyone calls Aunty and Uncle. There are those everyone calls Mom and Dad. There are the blessed ones that everyone calls Grandma and Grampa. We know that not everyone is allowed to live such a long life. We know that they have earned a lot of knowledge.

White people think that aging is a failure. Anti-aging is a multimillion dollar business as they fight the certainty of growing older.

How do we talk with the white man without a common mythical background, or an understanding of how the world works? We understand their language and religion because it was beaten into our parents and grandparents.


A friend gave me one of Ward Churchill’s books to read. A couple chapters upset me. One was about the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. The other was about the reign of terror on Pine Ridge during the 1970’s.

Churchill attacked a friend of mine, blaming him for creating the Indian Arts and Crafts act to get rid of competition. My friend Earl Biss has made the transition back home, a common theme in his paintings. http://www.earl-biss.com/

Churchill made fun of Earl’s style of dress, saying it set the standard for “The Santa Fe Indian Artist.” According to Churchill, Earl wore “Blanket vests and coats and a big brimmed hat.” He was a striking figure.

Pendleton jackets and vests are the Rez version of black tie. Only slightly behind that is a red teeshirt with an eagle, wolf or killer whale on it.

The Indian Arts and Crafts Act simply states that art being presented as Indian Art has to be made by real Indians. The act protects the integrity of Indian art.

Those of us who attended The Institute of American Indian Arts have a special bond. We forged new pathways for our work. Painters like Earl Biss, TC Cannon, Alfred Youngman and Bill Soza also made political statements, not just pretty pictures. Mixed media also included poetry.

Arlo Looking Cloud attended the Institute of American Indian Arts. He was a painting major.

The other chapter upset and prompted me to contact Ward Churchill. At the end of his chronicle of the reign of terror (1973 to 1976) he listed all those that died. He listed the men as AIM members and the women as AIM supporters.

The internet was fuming with discussions about the Anna Mae case. Many thought the movement was dead or dying. I thought it was worth trying to save. Before that could be done we have to confront and stop the sexism. I said on one list I wished I could talk with Churchill about the examples of sexism in his book. Someone sent me his address.

I emailed Ward Churchill and told him I wanted to talk with him about the sexism in his book. I told him that declaring the men killed during the reign of terror as AIM members, and the women as AIM supporters was an insult.

Churchill called me a dipshit and told me to prove that those women were AIM members. Those women are dead so I can’t get a statement. I gave up after a few more emails.

I was aware of Ward Churchill now. I saw proclamations made by him. He seemed to thrive on controversy and chaos.

I knew that Colorado AIM had not supported Arlo Looking Cloud during his trial. They did not contend the obvious lies made by the Federal Government. They were with Robert Branscombe on the steps of Federal Building when he gave a press conference.

I began wondering why Colorado AIM was supporting the FBI story. I couldn’t reconcile an AIM chapter being in the pocket of the FBI. When did the FBI and AIM become friends?

A friend told me to check out a blog called tryworks. They are supposedly a group of students that support Ward Churchill. They claimed to be a reading group. I checked out the archives. They don’t discuss books. They make adolescent attacks on any who question Churchill.

They were attacking another friend for questioning the FBI story about Anna Mae’s death. I posted and asked why Colorado AIM supported the FBI against Arlo. Their story is full of holes after all.

The Churchill gang attacked me. They demanded that I prove he isn’t Indian and that he killed Jon Benet. Others have proven he isn’t Indian. He can’t prove that he is Indian. I restated my question. Why is Colorado AIM supporting the FBI. That is so unaimlike.

They tried to distract me from that issue by demanding that I prove that I am Indian. I had seen him do that before. He can’t prove that he has an Indian ancestor. He attacks those of us whose ancestry is documented.

I told them to do their own research. They could contact my Tribe and the BIA. Both organizations don’t like my politics, but I am enrolled. He called me a sell out for registering with a federal agency. I knew he would.

He claims that having no status as an Indian is an act of defiance. You have to have Indian blood to be enrolled.

I signed one of my posts “Veteran of Wounded Knee 1973.” He said he had heard that I wasn’t there. He said I was like Vernon Bellecourt. He spent that time in Rosebud and Minneapolis according to Churchill. I told him my photo and an interview with me was in the “Voices from Wounded Knee” book.

We had been told that Vernon was on the outside organizing food and supplies for us. One day a group of young men from Minneapolis AIM packed in supplies for us. They didn’t sneak by the FBI and Marshals. They shot their way in. They said they wanted to be here with us. They were told that they were needed to organize on the outside. They spent the day talking with us, They reluctantly left at dark time. We could hear a furious gun battle moving away from us. We didn’t see them again.

I held to my question. Why did Colorado AIM support the federal government against Arlo? I had pointed out federal lies, why didn’t they? I have always believed that the FBI killed Anna Mae.


I responded to one of tryworks posts. When I hit the send button I was taken to a private chatroom. I was told “You have accused us of murder, tell us your evidence and give us your timeline.”

These were obviously feds. What were they doing on the tryworks blog? Who gave them a key to the back door?

They tried to bully me and scare me away from defending Arlo Looking Cloud’s right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. There was no evidence presented at his trial linking him to the kidnap rape or murder of Anna Mae Aquash.

I told them that neither coroner said there was evidence of a beating or rape. They agreed there was no evidence of that. They said that a bullet in her head was found.

I said yes, the government couldn’t link that bullet to Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham.

They told me I wasn’t in the loop and knew nothing. They demanded to know who I thought killed Anna Mae.

I said David Price. They spit me out of that chatroom as quickly as they grabbed me.

Ward Churchill pretends there is a grand conspiracy out to get him. He doesn’t think it’s because of his lies and masquerading as an Indian. He writes like a white man about Indian issues. He doesn’t write from the perspective of an Indian on the inside of those issues. He has stolen the job intended for Native American faculty. He steals and twists our voice in his books.
He accused me of being buddies with Vernon Bellecourt, Suzan Harjo and Ernesto Vigil.

I don’t know Vernon personally. I have heard him speak several times. I saw him at the occupation of the BIA in Washington DC.

I met Suzan Harjo in New York City when she worked at WBAI radio. I was the playwright in residence at the first Native American Theatre Ensemble at Cafe La Mama in New York. Most of us were hired out of the Institute of American Indian Arts. Suzan was one of the founding members of the American Indian Press Association.

I have never met Ernesto Vigil, but of course I knew of him. He was part of that prominent Chicano group The Crusade for Justice headed by Corky Gonzales. They were part of the Poor People’s Campaign and supported Indian Treaty rights. Ernesto was the first or one of the first Chicanos to refuse induction into the Vietnam war. He was wounded and a friend killed by police. He has written a book about those fiery times. I pulled Churchill’s nose by saying if I ever DID meet Ernesto I would call him cuz.

Vernon and Suzan have said that Churchill is not Indian. His membership in a Cherokee band is honorary because he cannot prove actual blood. Churchill and his grizzled band of students continually attack Suzan and Vernon for their expose of his lies about his Indian blood.

Ward Churchill’s attack on Vigil is the most puzzling and alarming. He accuses the Crusade for Justice of helping AIM when they were being hunted by the FBI.

If that incident actually did happen why is Churchill attacking the Crusade for helping AIM? Is he trying to cause trouble and disruption between Chicanos and other Native groups? That makes no sense.

I was banned from the tryworks site when I was ejected from that chatroom. They continued to attack me and I was unable to respond.

A woman called Rose tried to scare me with Bob Robideau. She asked me if I knew him, Bob from Seattle AIM. To my knowledge he hasn’t made a statement about this mess.

Another women called me Granny after she finished her tirade. Poor girl doesn’t know that she called me Commander and swore allegiance to me. Not many reach the rank of Grandmother.

It is obvious to me that tryworks is a fed site. The question is why are they supporting the head of Colorado AIM?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Classic Cointelpro
(The story of Anna Mae Aquash
Arlo Looking Cloud)

I don’t have words to name the anguish I have carried for Anna Mae, Arlo and John. Thirty years ago hope was a luminous butterfly breaking out of her cocoon in my heart. The days of the old movement, the 1970’s brought out the best in us, and the worst.

We flew to the sun and stole light at the occupation of Wounded Knee 1973 as our rag tag band of Indians yanked our history and destiny from the hands of the United States government. Wounded Knee had been synonymous with the death of our way of life. Close your eyes and you can see Big Foot and his people, frozen where they fell, shot by American soldiers.

Open your eyes and there we are, long haired, armed, drawing a line in the snow with our lives. Armed Indian men from across the United States and Canada returned the US Government’s fire. Indian women cooked cleaned and did all the work to keep the camp going. The heart and backbone has always been Woman.

Most of us walked in and out of Wounded Knee through the government forces that surrounded us. We swore an oath to stand for our People. We staked ourselves out for those who were felled by alcohol and drugs. We raised our voices for those who were silenced by corrupt Tribal Councils supported by the federal government.

Pine Ridge chairman Dick Wilson was every corrupt Tribal politician that dragged us into the sludge and left us trapped. The Lakota at Pine Ridge have born the burden of the history of all Indian People. In this the most affluent country that the world has seen, Pine Ridge is the poorest county in the country.

It is impossible for outsiders to understand why we choose to live on our reservations. We could make a better living in the big cities. We would be free from oppression of corrupt Tribal chairmen. It is the land herself that holds us.

It doesn’t matter who has legal title to our land. It is ours. We are responsible for it. We carry it in our hearts. Maybe that’s why Indian hearts are so big.

We feel guilt when we leave it. The borders press against our ribs until we return home. Our land is us and we are our land in a way that the white man will never understand. Reservations were created by Treaties to be our prisons. We were supposed to die there, out of sight, out of mind.

For many years our reservations suffocated us. We grew stagnant. Alcohol and drugs numbed our bodies and minds and spirits. We forgot. We forgot what happened to us and who we are.

Those who should have belonged to the warrior societies turned on each other and forgot to protect The People. The oppressors stole power from our men. In those unspeakable times the men turned and stole power from those in their care, the babies, the old ones, the women. Violence and sexual abuse became authority in our sick defeated state.

Those who should have been our Clan Mothers and Lady Chiefs had their sacredness destroyed. Many forgot it is they that choose the future of our people. They were unable to hold their heads or the men’s above water. Our hearts and backbones collapsed under the burden of poverty and little hope.

It was into this darkness that the Movement reached its hand. It wasn’t Dennis and Russell or Vernon and Clyde. It was the idea of freedom. It was the worm turning into a butterfly. It was the Sasquatch cry in the midnight woods. It was the part of us that never died or surrendered.

The call from the Lakota to come back to Wounded Knee also came from deep within our hearts, the collective soul of our people. It’s time to wake up. The long sleep is over. Your People need you. Hit the ground running.

We came from the four directions. We brought our broken Treaties and our broken hearts to be healed. The gun fire at Wounded Knee in the 1800’s signaled the end of our freedom. The gun fire at Wounded Knee 1973 signaled our awakening.

We made special clothes and Ghost Danced in the open. This time the guns didn’t cut us down. The Creator hadn’t forgotten us. He was just waiting for us to find our way back home.

We also packed in with us the dysfunctional learned behaviors that were destroying us. The cream and the dregs floated to the top.

Men believed the Hollywood version of the Indian warrior. Women were treated badly. They thought we were there to serve them not The People.

There were stars that shown. I don’t mean the media stars. There were those born of earth whose goodness burned from their hearts. Pedro Bissonette and Anna Mae Aquash were such lights. They symbolized the best in us.

Pedro would walk out of Wounded Knee at first light and spend the day negotiating with the government. He fasted in solidarity with us. We were starving at that point. We ate one meal a day. The old lady cooks saved a plate for him when he walked back in at night. He was quiet and humble, a Traditional leader. He was assassinated after the occupation was over.

Anna Mae was a warrior woman. She helped make quilts, packed a gun on patrol and could talk Treaties and strategy. She was assassinated amid jealousy and rumors. She died alone and abandoned. She represented the best of Woman and the worst that could happen to us.

The facts of her murder are cloaked in intrigue and stink of an FBI conspiracy. The description of the body found at Wanblee didn’t fit Anna Mae. She was ten years younger and four inches taller than Anna Mae. The coroner said she had been dead about ten days.


The testimony at Arlo’s trial is filled with confusion. The odyssey that took Anna Mae from Denver to Rapid City began with a call to Angie Begay Janis. She testified that Thelma Rios called her with instructions to bring Anna Mae to Rapid City. Angie then went to Troy Lynn Yellow Wood’s house to deliver the message.

According to Janis’ own testimony she was at the meeting at Yellow Woods house to decide if Anna Mae was an informer. If that meeting actually did happen, was her fate decided there? Incidents appear in this story like magic to support the government’s contentions. Sometimes these incidents make absolutely no sense.

This was a most unfortunate time for Arlo to show up at this house. He was looking for a friend to go have a beer with him. He says Theda Clark asked him to drive them to Rapid City. A request from an older woman would have equated a command.

Angie stated that Arlo was at the meeting. That is doubtful. A meeting of that magnitude would not have included the rank and file. It would have consisted of those considered to be leaders.

Janis stated that Anna Mae was brought from the basement tied to a board. Arlo’s attorney Tim Rensch reminded Janis that she had not mentioned Anna Mae’s hands being tied or being tied to a board in her grand jury testimony. He asked if she had spoken with BIA cop Robert Eccoffey about this.

Simply driving Anna Mae to Rapid City would not be a federal offense. Troy Lynn Yellow Wood testified that Anna Mae did not want to go, but went of her own volition. A charge of kidnapping was needed so the myth of Anna Mae being carried out of the house tied to a board was fashioned.

Yellow Wood stated that she tried to stop them from taking Anna Mae from her house but was ordered by her aunt Theda Clark to mind her own business. Theda was apparently a domineering mean older woman. Few would dare cross her.

When Arlo, John and Theda left with Anna Mae, Yellow Wood called the police. Angie Janis took the phone from her and hung it up. Janis told Yellow Wood to stay out of this.

Although Janis testified under oath that Anna Mae’s hands had been tied and then she was tied to a board that did not alarm Angie enough to call the police herself. She still stated that she didn’t think Anna Mae was in any danger.

If Angie Janis did not tell this story when she testified before the grand jury, then when and why did she invent it? It would seem that this was created to be the lynch pin for the charge of kidnapping.

Janis could not remember the color of the rope or the board. Rensch also asked Amiotte, the rancher that found the Wanblee body, if there was a rope near the body. Amiotte didn’t see a rope. We have another mystery in this story. Where did the rope and board go?

Next we move to the famous alleged interrogation at the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee office. Candy Hamilton testified that she was waiting at WKLDOC for a ride to Sioux Falls to testify at Russell Means trial. Anna Mae was in a room with a group of people.

Anna Mae came out of the room to get a cup of coffee. She talked a while with Candy. There were phones and doors in the office. Anna Mae didn’t try to call for help. Neither did she try to run.

Hamilton states that she told Anna Mae that Oglalla could be a really safe place for her to stay. Candy was offering asylum. She had heard rumors of Aquash being an informer. Candy wanted to let Anna Mae know that she would be protected in Oglalla if she wanted it. She didn’t. The two women spoke for another minute then Anna Mae returned to the room. Aquash had many opportunities to escape if she was being held prisoner.

Hamilton couldn’t remember if it was before or after they heard that Anna Mae had been killed when she spoke to Madonna Gilbert about the incident. She asked Gilbert what became of Anna Mae after they talked with her. Gilbert said, “Oh, we just told her to get out of there.”

The myths that have grown up around this story are volatile. They are fueled by Jordan Dill on his websites and Paul Demain in his newspaper.

Dill and Demain sound like bellowing wrestlers in their proclamations. They have ranted about a ten tooth beating during the alleged interrogation of Aquash. Actually, according to “The life and Death of Anna Mae Aquash by Johanna Brand,” Anna Mae wore partials, which she had lost.

Dill and Demain quote Minnie Two Shoes quoting Iris Thunder Cloud as saying that Anna Mae told her that Leonard Peltier put a gun in her mouth as he questioned her at an AIM conference. There is no eye witness to affirm that this incident actually happened.

During Robert Eccoffey’s testimony he states that Arlo told him that when they crossed the fence, she (Anna Mae) knew what was going to happen. Roger Amiotte had testified that the fence had not been there in 1976, the year he found the body.

Why did Arlo have a detailed memory of crossing a fence that would be built years later? Why did he recall that by crossing that yet-to-be fence Anna Mae knew she was about to be killed?

Eccoffey thinks he sees rope burns on the corpse’s wrists in the crime scene photos. It is here that the kidnapping story is born. There is no mention of rope burns by either medical examiner in both autopsy reports.

Dr. Gary Peterson who performed the second autopsy said that Anna Mae’s severed hands were returned to him. He examined them and rejoined them with the body.

Dr. Peterson also said he examined the genitalia and it appeared normal. He did not mention evidence of trauma or rape.

Many lies and exaggerations have been told by FBI and their spin doctors in this story to manipulate our emotions. One of the worst is the rape of Anna Mae.

Both Arlo and John have been accused of raping Anna Mae by the FBI spinmeisters. Dill and Demain have ranted that six to eight AIM men raped Anna Mae Aquash either while she was interrogated or being held captive. That is a sick male fantasy.

Dr. Gary Peterson did not say there was evidence that Anna Mae had been raped and beaten. How many friends have cried over the years at the thought of their sister being bound and gang raped by her brothers? The thought of her being beaten so badly that ten teeth are knocked out is heartbreaking. Those lies are unconscionable.

This case is classic FBI cointelpro. Anna Mae Aquash was targeted by the FBI for elimination. They think they are wriggling out of their responsibility for her assassination by this sham trial of Arlo Looking Cloud.

The FBI has used Indian journalists to plant their lies and shine the light away from their culpability. They claim to have lost all evidence connected with the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. They continue to release new accusations of a nonexistent beating and rape.

There was no evidence presented at Arlo’s trial linking him to the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. By their own testimony some of those who turned state implicated themselves. They appear guiltier than Arlo.

Angie Janis admits being a part of the Denver AIM meeting that decided that Anna Mae Aquash was an informant. She physically stops Troy Lynn Yellow Wood from calling the police to save Anna Mae.

John Trudell claims to have received a distress signal from Aquash in the form of a ring. A letter supposedly from Anna Mae was recently released on the internet. The letter states the ring was given to AIM attorney Beverly Axelrod to mail. That letter was supposedly written while Anna Mae was in a Vancouver Washington jail after the Brando motor home bust on November 14 of 1975.

There was plenty of time for Trudell to intervene on Anna Mae’s behalf if she had been killed on December 12 1975 as the FBI asserted in Arlo’s trial. There would have been more time if she had been killed in the middle of February as stated by the FBI’s first press release of her death.

Kamook Nichols Banks Ecoffey stated in her CBC interview with Anna Marie Tremonti that she learned one day that Anna Mae was having an affair with her husband Dennis Banks. The next day Anna Mae was interrogated about being an informant.

Dennis Banks stated to Tremonti that if he had a choice of who he would spend the rest of his life with, he would have chosen Anna Mae.

Kamook testified that Dennis Banks and Leonard Peltier forced Anna Mae to make bombs. They wanted to frame Aquash with her own fingerprints on the bombs. It would seem that fingerprints would be destroyed when the bomb detonated.

There seems to be descriptions of at least two different bodies in the crime scene reports and the two separate autopsies. Anyone who points this out is ridiculed by the FBI apologists. Yet the strongly differing descriptions are in their own reports in their own words.

No evidence of any kind was presented during the trial to prove that Anna Mae Aquash was kidnapped, held prisoner, beaten and raped. There is no evidence linking Arlo to a kidnapping, rape, or murder. All testimony was hearsay. Most of it was about the American Indian Movement, not Arlo.

Arlo’s new attorney Terry Gilbert filed an appeal on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel; plain error of the court in admitting into evidence non-probative information that was highly prejudicial and not relevant to the case, admission of hearsay evidence and failure to give appropriate jury instructions and insufficiency of the evidence.

The eighth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Arlo’s appeal. They ruled that Rensch did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to move to suppress the taped police interview because Arlo was intoxicated. The police did not test the level of alcohol and drugs in Arlo’s system. There was no evidence that he was incapacitated.

The most damning testimony was that of Darlene “Kamook” Nichols Banks Eccoffey. They deduced from Kamook’s testimony that several AIM members (including Kamook) took Anna Mae away for weeks to “watch her.” Kamook said that Aquash was constantly watched, was not allowed to go anywhere alone, and was not permitted to go home despite her requests to do so. According to Ken Stern’s book “Loud Hawk” Anna Mae had the power to deny Russ Redner’s request for a weapon on that caravan.

The trial of Arlo Looking Cloud is frightening for several reasons. The American Indian Movement appeared to be on trial not Arlo. The Movement was found guilty of a propensity for violence. That was primarily based on Kamook’s testimony. There was no physical evidence presented against Arlo himself.

Angie Janis testified that Anna Mae was carried from Yellow Wood’s house tied to a board. Yet she did not see Anna Mae’s hands tied. Yellow Wood testified that Anna Mae walked out and left of her own accord, though unwillingly. The court accepted Angie Janis’ version, the kidnapping story. The court deduced that since Aquash was tied to a board, Arlo knew she was going to be killed.

Kamook Nichols Banks Ecoffey claims that Anna Mae was her best friend and she was a prisoner on the Brando motor home caravan. Kamook did not try to help her escape. She was part of that cell. Did she aid and abet in the kidnap and imprisonment of her best friend? She did not use her influence as the wife of AIM’s cofounder and top leader to stop the rumors or to protect Anna Mae.

If a kidnapping did occur in Denver then Angie Janis aided and abetted by stopping Troy Lynn Yellow Wood from calling for help. Angie Janis received the phone call and carried the message to Denver AIM that Anna Mae was to be returned to South Dakota. She admits to sitting in on a meeting that decided that Anna Mae was an informant.

The American Indian Movement dies in a snake pit from its own venomous bites. Members point fingers at each other and hurl accusations.

John Trudell testified that he was told of Anna Mae’s murder by Dennis Banks. Trudell says this was before the FBI announced that the Wanblee body was Aquash.

Dennis Banks stated in his memoir “Ojibwa Warrior” that Trudell told him that the Wanblee body was Anna Mae. This was also before the FBI announced the name.

The trial transcripts read like a bad script for a really bad movie. The federal government may have convicted Arlo Looking Cloud of aiding and abetting a murder. Without concrete evidence against Arlo, the federal government did not acquit themselves of the murder of Anna Mae Aquash.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Tax Paying Citizens

Washington State Representative Jim Buck announced that he will look after the rights of the tax paying citizens in the issue of the graving yard, or the ancient village of Tse Whit Zen. I am a tax paying citizen. I assume he meant he will look out for my interests.

I told him that I assume that he did not use the term "tax paying citizens" solely to mean white people. He accused me of trying to turn this into a racial issue and it's not.

It's funny how racists do that. On Dan Spomer's blog a woman asked a Makah if they really believe that anyone who disagrees with them is a racist. He didn't answer her but I did. I said that anyone could disagree with Indians. If you use racist slurs or racist stereotypes, then you are a racist.

Insinuating that Indians don't pay taxes is a racist stereotype. Insinuating that only white people carry the tax burden for this country is racist. Everyone pays taxes. You don't get your paycheck until the IRS gets their cut. That is unless you are extremely wealthy. Then you get all kinds of tax breaks denied to the poor.

Isn't it interesting that those who try to incite the community against Indians over taxes don't say anything about the wealthy not paying taxes. Maybe that's who funded the anti-Makah campaign.

I have decided that I am going to call Jim Buck and Dan Spomer on their racism everytime they use the term "tax paying citizens" to mean white people.

The city and state politicians have taken advantage of the issue of the graving yard. They have used it to turn focus away from the fact that they have done nothing to attract jobs to Port Angeles and Clallam County. It's easier to blame the Indians for stopping jobs.

The simple fact is that Timber and Fishing have crashed. They may not come back in our lifetime. Another economic base must be created.

Politicians should know better than to use polemics. It could become their downfall.