John Trudell has passed away at the age of 69 following a bout with cancer.
Trudell had something of a storied career, and I don’t believe he will easily be forgotten.
I didn’t know him well but our paths had crossed a couple of times and the thing I remember the most was his intensity.
He was the kind of person that people seemed to either love or hate, but I suspect if the truth were known the same could be said of a great many, myself included.
Trudell alternately called for the AIM leadership to be rounded up and dragged into court to get to the bottom of the murder of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash and also played it close to the vest as to what he may have actually known.
He spoke often of an “agent provocateur” within AIM and to begin the hunt at the Custer Court House – without never having named this provocateur I am satisfied it is none other than Dave Hill, I further believe anyone who does the math would reasonably draw the same conclusion.
I had a brief conversation with Trudell once involving the topic of Leonard Peltier, and although he publicly advocated for Peltier’s release I couldn’t help but feel as though he didn’t exactly buy into the complete package.
I say that as an impression I had and not attempting to put words into his mouth. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.
I don’t believe Trudell ever completely got over the deaths of his wife and children due to a fire that has alternately been blamed on the feds and AIM depending on who you talk to – understandable if he didn’t.
With the passing of each of the AIM old guard there is always a hope that at some point they will have set the code of silence aside offering a measure of closure and respite for AIM’s victims, for in the end silence serves no other purpose than a non verbal consent.
The purpose of this particular blog isn’t to praise nor denigrate John Trudell, I leave that to others, only to make note of his passing and offer condolences to those who loved him, for all who lose a loved one grieve at such a time.