portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary oregon & cascadia

indigenous issues | police / legal

Cointelpro's legacy: the murder of Anna Mae

Anna Mae Pictou Aquash could have been one of the greatest native leaders of her generation.
Cointelpro's legacy:
Extradition, paranoia, and the murder of Anna Mae

April 26, 2004

Danny Riendeau

Anna Mae Pictou Aquash could have been one of the greatest native leaders of her generation. Instead, this Nova Scotia-born mother and devoted activist for the American Indian Movement (AIM) was led to a quiet corner of South Dakota's Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975 and shot in the back of the head. She tumbled off of a cliff, landing in a field where she lay for hours, possibly days, until the brutal Dakota winter claimed her. Her murder remained unsolved for years but members of the FBI are now convinced that another former AIM member, Yukon native John Graham, is responsible, and they are now asking for his extradition. For a reporter trying to peer into the dim history of the case it seems most logical to assume that there are two John Grahams. The first is a loving father and committed native activist who in the early 1980s named an activist camp after his slain friend Anna Mae. The other is a violent AIM loyalist who, tainted by the paranoia of FBI infiltration, followed orders to kidnap and kill Anna Mae on the mistaken belief that she was an informant. Graham remains under house arrest in Vancouver and soon a Canadian judge will have to decide which view of the man is the closest to the truth.

Full:  http://sevenoaksmag.com/features/10_graham.html

homepage: homepage: http://www.SevenOaksMag.com

Fabrication of Evidence by the FBI 26.Apr.2004 21:27


"My greatest fear is that the U.S. will use the same kind of flimsy and trumped-up evidence that they used against Leonard Peltier to justify the extradition of John Graham, a Canadian citizen, to the U.S.," said Amnesty International member Bob Newbrook, a retired police officer who arrested Peltier in Alberta in 1976.

"I fear that John Boy will not receive a fair trial in the US anymore than I did. I must remind you, it is court record that the FBI lied to extradite me back to the US." - Leonard Peltier


There are many tragedies which resulted from the shootout on the Pine Ridge reservation and subsequent events of nearly 30 years ago. These include the deaths of Lakota people, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Canadian activist Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.

In an effort to gain convictions for the deaths of the FBI agents, a continuing abuse of the justice system by the FBI has ensued, involving the fabrication of evidence and the use of false testimony and fraudulent affidavits. Perhaps the most infamous result of these tactics was the illegal extradition of Leonard Peltier from Canada to face charges for the deaths of the two agents.

John is charged with the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, who was a friend and comrade of his in the American Indian Movement. He has repeatedly stated that he is not guilty of this crime. We believe that the charges against him have been manufactured by the FBI - aas part of their ongoing war against AIM and against self determination for Indigenous people

In the weeks before she disappeared, Anna Mae confided to John that she had been detained and threatened by FBI Officer David Price who told her that she would not live out the year if she didn't become an FBI informer.

John dropped Anna Mae at a safe house near the Pine Ridge Reservation. It was the last time he saw her alive.

When Anna Mae's frozen body was discovered on the reservation, FBI Agent David Price was one of the first to examine the body. He claimed he could not identify Anna Mae, despite having interviewed her. He had the hands cut off, sent to Washington for identification. Her body was buried as a Jane Doe. The cause of death was listed as "exposure:" The first coroner "missed" the bullet hole in the back of Anna Mae's head. Agent Price claimed there was no need to have a criminal investigation.

An exhumation and a second autopsy occured. Our understanding is that people within AIM asked for this. The 2nd coroner was able to identify the bullet hole.

Media sources in the U.S. and Canada are already running stories that assume John's guilt. These stories can be traced back to a man named Paul DeMain, who runs a newspaper and website called "News from Indian Country." It claims to be an independent media source, but in our opinion, should be treated with grave suspicion. DeMains' main purpose is to perpetuate positions invented by the FBI. DeMain also makes it his business to personally contact anyone who expresses an opposite point of view. DeMain has spawned a number of websites - including the "Indigenous Women for Justice."

The Native Solidarity Network urges people to show their solidarity for John Graham to overcome the extradition process.