Anna Mae Aquash  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Annie Mae Aquash (Mi'kmaq name Naguset Eask) (March 27, 1945 – mid-December 1975) was a First Nations activist from Nova Scotia, Canada who moved to Boston in the 1960s and joined American Indians in education and resistance. She was part of the American Indian Movement in the Wounded Knee incident at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, United States in 1973.

Aquash participated in the 1972 Trail of Broken Treaties and occupation of the Department of Interior headquarters in Washington, DC; and protest to draw government action and acknowledgement of First Nations and Native American civil rights in Canada and Wisconsin in the following years. After she disappeared in late 1975, there were rumors she had been killed. On February 24, 1976, her body was found on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; she was initially determined to have died from exposure by a local medical examiner, but after a second autopsy two weeks later, was found to have been murdered by an execution-style gunshot. Initially, her death was covered up and the body declared to be "unidentifiable". The FBI disseminated rumours that she had been an informant. Aquash was thirty years old at the time of her death and had two young daughters, Debbie and Denise.

After decades of investigation and the hearing of testimony by three federal grand juries, in March 2003, Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham (also known as John Boy Patton) were indicted for the murder of Aquash. Looking Cloud was convicted in 2004 and Graham in 2010; both received life sentences. Thelma Rios was indicted along with John Graham, but she pleaded guilty to charges as an accessory to the kidnapping. In 2008 Vine Richard "Dick" Marshall was charged with aiding the murder, but was acquitted of providing the gun. Numerous Aquash supporters and her daughters believe that higher-level AIM officials ordered her murder, fearing she was an FBI informant.

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