Since most of the roles of saviors and messiahs have already been taken little has been left for the AIM leadership than to characterize themselves as modern day Magi-they seem to think they are the ones pointing to the star and leading the way.
The gifts they have borne are something less than precious though, no frankincense or myrrh-to the contrary mostly destruction and increased hardship for the people while their personal situation more closely reflects suburbia than the rez, what with their ranches,
businesses, and the ever present “charitable” foundations.
To view their financial situations it would appear as though the process has been reversed-a sense of entitlement and a belief the gifts are to be layed at their feet.
Whether it was a young girls body to be used and cast aside, frequent flyer miles amassed while going first class, hurried cash settlements to waive lawsuits against sports teams made on the way out of town, or the ability to create a movement predicated on a false denial of guilt.
In comparison, of what importance was it that some died along the way like Annie Mae and Ray Robinson-if Nogeeshik burned to death while confined to a wheel chair, or Giago’s newspaper was fire bombed?
Was the cost Riegert, Gildersleeve, or the village of Wounded Knee made to pay of greater value? Is the cost PR pays to this day in the aftermath of greater significance? Or the stereotypical bum rap all the nations face as a result of the Magi?
None of the nations ever turned to or accepted the tainted money or verbal allegiance of oppressive dictatorships, of communist countries like the former Soviet Union, but the organization the Magi represented saw only the money, the ever present priority -and prostituted every tradition ever known to chase after it.
To this day the charade continues while they speak of pride in association-Madoff must be green with envy at their success. Don’t forget to send that monetary homage, or purchase one of those books-they have an expectation to maintain the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to.
Below you will find a letter written by Barbara Nixon, a former AIM member, addressed to one of the Magi, and also mentions others in the process. I’d say like Lucy, someone’s got some ‘splaining to do.
AN OPEN LETTER TO CLYDE BELLECOURT:
Long one….worth the read……
I never knew. I never knew when I danced in support at your sundances
…those 4 years, the kind of man you were. I never knew when I stayed at
your home what you were capable of ….or suspected of………….of
all things conspiracy to murder. The years that I spent as a
supporter of the American Indian Movement, in Pipestone, and at GGC
meetings in Minneapolis, I thought you were a good man…doing good
things for your people….what a joke Clyde. The times that I spent
staying with you and your wife Peggy, and catering to that venomous
tongued brother of yours, Vernon.I never realized, I never knew…
who or what I was involving myself with when I became a member of AIM,
or the dangers that came along with my affiliation. I respected you, AIM
was something that I wanted to be a part of.Those four years that I
spent going to AIM Sundance’, I stood strong, regardless of the
physical, mental, and emotional tests that I was put through, not only
by my supporting and participating, but by the very people that I was
supporting. . I stood strong for AIM, for Derek Whirlwind GGC member who
introduced me to the movement and its leadership, I stood in AWE of
your ceremonies, at the strength, endurance, and sacrifice that was
made for the ‘Oyate’.There
was nothing negative that anyone could have ever said to me about
‘Clyde Bellecourt’. It was truly an eye opener to feel prejudice for the
first time in my life walking in the other guys moccasins…….never the
less a good thing for me spiritually. I had grown so much as a person
those years, and as a woman, my eyes opened from a sheltered life living
in New York.Blessings from Dennis Banks came, on the formation of
AIM in the Northeast that Derek and I founded on behalf of AIM. It was a
time of change we thought …where finally there might be some hope of
‘Solidarity’ between West and East. That Native Americans might move
foreword in this new Native American Civil Rights Movement of a new
millennium.It was the same year that Ingrid Washawuntuck , was
honored at AIM’s Sundance, that I began to hear the whispers through
camp of…Annie Mae. It was the women that whispered when they talked
about her, usually at night when camp became quiet. Words from women
like Lina, Vernon’s ex wife……Flower, Little Buffalo, and even Raven
Bellecourt ( Vernon’s daughter)… crying to me at one point that, she
just wanted to get away from all ‘this’ and anything that had to do with
AIM; begging me to take her back to New York with Derek and I when we
left because she was so ashamed of the ‘things’ her father Vernon had
done…….I just didn’t get any of it then. I didn’t understand…I never
knew……… Because I had ears to listen with, a ‘good heart’
that I came with, and a strong body to endure, I continued on the
struggle for Native rights… this is when everything started to become
tense and confusing. The Mohawks, the Oneida’s the Peaquat’s, the
Mic Mac’s, the Maliseet, Aqwasasknee, to name a few of the tribal
representatives that we met with…. were angry. The Name Annie Mae was
not whispered anymore in the darkness of night …it was being screamed
out by the people….‘WE WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH AIM UNTIL WE FIND
OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO ANNIE MAE!’ I still didn’t understand.It was in
2002.…February, right after a GGC meeting in Minneapolis Clyde, that
Vernon went into a vicious verbal tirade, waving his cane at everyone
stating that he should beat the fuck out of us all…Derek had
challenged him of the rumors about Annie Mae.This was the same man
…who when I first met him referred to ALL women, including his wife and
daughter…. as ‘nothing but C_ _TS.’ Now in my direct line of sight
I witnessed the real Vernon…a man who hated women, and displayed direct
acts of violence towards them when either questioned or challenged by
them…..even Your wife Peggy…..your brother threatened. It was the
next morning Clyde when a phone call had come in from Vernon, that we
were being ‘summoned’ to meet him at Pepito’s restaurant in Minneapolis
for an early lunch. The atmosphere was ominous and foreboding, the place
small and dingy. Remember Clyde..you were there. Vernon, Mary Jane
Medrano or MJ… MJ’s son Dave Wilson, Jim Anderson, his wife, myself,
Derek Whirlwind…..wittness’ Clyde……. of how your brother
threatened to kill me…to do the same thing to me that he did to that
‘MIC MAC’ Woman… Vernon yelling at me, something that he was infamous
for, that made several people from the table get up to leave. It
was then Clyde, when your brother Vern looked at me raising up from the
table a bit and said ..’What is your name again….Nixon? You’re a white
woman that does‘t belong in Indian business, you’re an infiltrator, a
fed and a pig….. I was speechless and very confused. ‘I’ll find out
about you too, he said …and take care of you too… the same way I did
that Mic Mac Woman’. Remember Clyde…Grabbing him by the arm to sit
back down, you told him to ‘Shut up…..It was not good to be talking
about this stuff … to be quiet…. so that the people might forget…….!’
I turned to walk out, Derek dragging me by the arm…. Vernon uttered
again his final threat……”’You’ll be lucky if you don’t find yourself
in a ditch too.’ Our affiliation with the American Indian Movement was over.That
was over 8 years ago, and my travels have taken me to many places in
Indian Country in search of answers, from Nova Scotia to Wounded Knee to
find out about this ‘Mic Mac’ woman called Annie Mae.People are
saying that you were involved with her murder Clyde, and that your
brother Vernon gave the order…. and that you carried it out.Clyde…its
only a matter of time until they will come for you. It is time for you
and Dennis to step up… as Dennis once said ‘we will all have to take
responsibility for our actions in the end.’ Clyde…The end has
come…………don’t go to your Creator with this horrible evil on your
soul………. Thank you Clyde for keeping your brother off of me
that day, so that I can be here to speak of my knowledge of AIM, its
internal workings, its member, and about your brother. I know you were
your brothers keeper your whole life, it showed the way he treated
you……but he’s gone Clyde…or is he? Who are you still protecting or
hiding…everybody knows Clyde…everybody. Barbara Nixon
AIM WILL NEVER EVER GET MY SUPPORT….NEVER!
Id like a answer from AIM, if you think Annie Mae was innocent and
such a good person why is none from AIM supporting action for justice
for her murder, why has Means removed all traces of posts and links
from his web pages.
why was no AIM… hierarchy at Annie Mae’s funeral.
why is it that the same names come up in testimony after testimony,
Peltier, Graham Means Banks.
the links are already their the jig saw puzzle slowly gets put back
together after 34 years of hiding it, John Grahams trial this week is
not the end, its the beginning of the end for lots of people.
AIM WILL NEVER HAVE MY SUPPORT EVER!
And finally a couple of gems from Means:
How do you feel about the accusations of stereotyping that some have made about your movie roles: Pochahontas, The Last of the Mohicans, and Natural Born Killers?
“There are no stereotypes in Pochahontas.. None whatsoever. That’s the finest movie ever done about Indian people in Hollywood. “
What about your role in Natural Born Killers?
“I was the only “good” thing in it. I don’t mean that facetiously. Everything and everyone else in it was evil or bad. That was one of my proudest achievements in acting. [The director] Oliver Stone intercut a couple of my scenes, the dying scene and the singing with the gourd by the fire, throughout the movie. It was a great chance for me as an actor. I had to speak Navajo in the movie, and I know I spoke it very badly, but at least I got to speak [as an Indian], and I also handled a coiled rattlesnake. It was a very satisfying experience, and I like the movie’s statement and so did the rest of America.”
Fails to mention above that the handling of snakes in his great acting job was offensive to the Dine as they believe them to be unclean- but then of what importance is that? And I wonder exactly what statement the movie made in it’s totality of being “evil or bad”? I assume then I am a minority of one, as I thought the movie was a waste of time and money. And Pocahontas is Hollywood’s finest effort? Get real Russell.