I was contacted by a documentary producer about some of the documents I found at the Minnesota Historical Society, specifically concerning the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. While I am pleased to be able to assist in possibly shedding some light on that sordid tale, I am concerned the documentary is going to attempt to "frame" her story as one of a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman (MMIW). The MMIW scenario typically involves kidnapping women, making them sex slaves, and often murdering them. While Anna Mae was murdered, it was not as a consequence of her being a sex slave. [...]
The First time I visited the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was Good Friday in 2014. Since that time, I made numerous trips to the reservation, learned a lot about the people who lived there, and made numerous friends from that isolated enclave in South Dakota and from all over the country in the form of volunteers from an organization name Re-Member. I also wrote a book entitled Hidden Disgrace; my goal in writing the book was to portray Indian people simply as human beings. I also described the history of Westward expansion not as the conflict between "civilized" Europeans and [...]
Indian leader Russell Means once said that what happens to Indian people is a "miner's canary" for what is going to happen to the rest of society. While questions surrounding the FBI treatment of General Michael Flynn are emerging, employing harsh methods is not new to the FBI. In Hidden Disgrace, I outline in detail how the FBI used sordid tactics against the American Indian Movement and how Anna Mae Aquash met her tragic death as a result of being "snitch-jacketed" by FBI agents.
In her phenomenal and piercing book, Anti-Indianism in Modern America, Lakota author Elizabeth Cook-Lynn revealed to us: "The failure to contextualize honestly the facts of history, then, must be identified as one of the main kinds of Anti-Indianisms in literary expression." What does it mean to contextualize honestly? In the course of writing Hidden Disgrace, to quote the brilliant writer of The White Man's Indian, Robert Berkhofer, it meant not to be: "..oblivious to research germaine to topics in other disciplines...(and becoming)…aware of similar patterns holding for another era." One application of Cook-Lynn's charge to place events in context and [...]