I hope this helps for those who do not know my families journey… Occasionally when some are faced with the raw truth it is just too much to take in, ( especially if they have lived decades believing that a lie was the truth) their first instinct is to deny themselves that opportunity and to push it down with doubt and politically correct jargon as they try to find their footing. And while I understand that can be quite a transition for some and I am more than willing and have given many individuals the room to realize fact from fiction I will not get into a discussion of misinterpretations or the definition of anger as it serves me no purpose at this point in my journey. I will, however, share what I KNOW.
The center of my universe was my mother and she was senselessly and viciously murdered 37 years ago. As a human being I was taught and raised to believe that the taking of any life was wrong. I understood the concept of accidental death, sickness and of war and though I did not like it I knew sometimes it was necessary especially when defending our very existence. I was raised with strong morals, surrounded by resistance for most of my childhood and participated in many of the 70’s protests and marches with my mother. I knew about injustice, I knew about right from wrong and I knew the world was at times not fair .But I also was taught by my MOTHER that I had certain rights as a human being and that if I was able to, I should fight for those rights, no matter what.
That being said, my mother did not die in a war, she was kidnapped, interrogated, raped, viciously beaten till her teeth fell out, shot in the head and then dumped in a ravine to die and rot for several months before her body was discovered. Her murder became one of the biggest appropriated opportunities for AIM and the LPDC to use as shock therapy for ndn country exemplifying what happens when you “contest the big bad government”. Using fear mongering as their tool to silence our women into minding their own business, turning a blind eye and accepting levels of domestic abuse as more a matter of circumstance than a violation of their own rights. Rights these very same individuals claimed we all had.
When the AIM leadership and Peltier chose to lie about who did this to “their sister” the predisposed climate in our communities as a result of our nations historic systemic oppression, to their benefit, made it easy for ndn country to just accept that the big bad government had done this to one of our own woman warriors yet again. Between 2004-2010 when it was proven through four trials along with the testimony of 23 eye witnesses (who were Aim and ex AIM members) that it was in fact AIM members acting on leadership orders who did this to “their sister” the true nature of the liars club’s character and integrity became compromised. Once again they launched into a damage controlled frenzy of name calling and bad jacketing that was disturbingly similar to that which they subjected my mother to. I was called fed , FBI Pawn , pig lover, hysterically grief stricken, consumed by anger, revengeful, a hater, colonized, assimilated, and divisionary by those who supposedly coined the term “native resistance”. Not once was I called defender, daughter of a victim, truth seeker, or woman rights activist for that matter. Their only recourse was to personally attack me, the daughter of their supposed “sister “they all wept for 37 years ago.
When the opportunity again presented itself for the liars club to come clean and take responsibility, after the truth was exposed in 2010, once again the excuses, victimization and smoke and mirrors became their mantra. Now they will say the feds made them murder their own sister, that it was all a setup, in their attempts to try to distract and explain away that fact that they had all LIED for well over 28 years. Well they can keep their crocodile tears and call me all the names they want; it still will not change the truth. AIM members acting on leadership orders, facilitated and interrogated by Leonard Peltier, murdered Annie Mae. To add insult to injury the AIM leadership and Peltier both currently support the convicted murderer of Annie Mae, John Graham, all the while proclaiming they are advocates for justice, indigenous rights and women’s rights. So why, would the leadership of AIM and Peltier after three decades of lying and saying they knew nothing of what happened to Annie Mae, suddenly after the truth is exposed feel compelled to support the man who was convicted of murdering their “sister”? Through discovery it was learned that well over a dozen individuals stood by and watched as Annie Mae was kidnapped, tortured and marched off to her death. It was also discovered that there was an attempt by the AIM leadership (Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt) to create an alibi for John Graham and that he went into the house where the decision was made to execute Annie Mae. Meaning that Graham could name each and every person in that house and every other person he crossed paths with as an accomplice if he chose not to hold his silence. NOT support John Graham? I don’t think they can afford NOT to.
So back to the question. Am I angry? DAMN RIGHT I AM! As any free living human being who knows right from wrong should be. I do not need anyone’s acceptance or permission to feel human and to be completely disgusted and appalled that no longer do some in our communities abhor the death of our women anymore but now it is a matter of keeping the peace and being politically correct and unified in a fantasy filled lie?
While I appreciate the concern for my wellbeing and psyche while I continue my journey that I don’t become too obsessed and entrenched in “anger, please understand this, without that fueling myself and others, my mother would not have had any justice at all. Because unifying, holding hands and singing the AIM song certainly didn’t do much for any of the missing and murdered women to my recollection in the last 37 years. If anything it marginalized our women and excluded them feeling safe enough to speak the truth.
I did not kill anyone; I do not need to defend myself nor do I owe allegiance to anyone but to my deceased mother and those families with missing and murdered family members murdered by community members who are still suffering in silence for being ostracized for daring to speak against the collective . I do not need to make friends to ensure my mother’s justice is realized, I do not need thousands of supporters to spread the truth. As long as injustice exists on this planet and women are marginalized, bullied into silence and their lives are trivialized by a group of lying conniving people calling themselves warriors and political prisoners there is NO SUCH THING as being TOO ANGRY. The truth is the truth and there is not a damn thing anyone of them can do about it. (Except Lie) Those that know the truth know it in their hearts and that it will always prevail. I have managed to live a full, happy life despite this nightmare but also know that complete Peace comes with full justice and if there was a good reason to be angry it would be the realization that until then that our children will be left with this legacy of lies.
It has been brought to my attention that there is an unofficial tribunal being conducted by the supporters and legal counsel of Leonard Peltier during the next 24 hours. In the last 9 years four trials were conducted regarding the murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash with the evidence and testimony of 23 witnesses, many of them AIM and ex AIM members. The four trials resulted in two convictions, one guilty plea and one acquittal exposing and proving that AIM members acting on Aim leadership orders ( which at the time included Dennis Banks, Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt, Leonard Crow Dog, John Trudell, Russell Means, Bill Means, David Hill et al) kidnapped, interrogated, beat, raped and executed Annie Mae in 1975.
It was also exposed that Leonard Peltier participated in several interrogations of Annie Mae by shoving a gun into her mouth and accusing her of being an informant. He had prior knowledge of the plans to execute my mother and is certainly at least complicit in the conspiracy to murder and silence her. He also bragged to my mother about shooting one of the murdered agents saying “he was begging for his life but I shot the mother f*cker anyway” (those are not the actions of someone using self defense) Currently Peltier publically supports John Graham the man convicted of executing my mother. IF his handlers and people are interested in real justice, his involvement, knowledge and participation in her interrogations and his very public support of Annie Maes murderer needs to be addressed.
Also Bruce Ellison, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk and Debbie White Plume who are attending this “tribunal” were present at another interrogation at the WKLDOC offices in 1975 where Madonna and Loralie Decora Means slapped my mother around while her hands were tied.
Bruce insisted they untie her hands while they were beating her hours before she was taken to Bill Mean’s house where the vote was taken to execute her. This clearly biased one sided tribunal is being conducted by those directly involved and complicit in the murder of one of their own women.
They are rehashing history in attempts to hide the fact that they are all conspirators and bound to each other by the blood they have on their hands of one of their own women and the oath they all took to lie about it for 37 years. Annie Mae will have full justice.
Denise Maloney Pictou