Anna Mae Archive

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Anna Mae Aquash

from 1945 to 1997
by Richard La Course

Permission is given to reprint and distribute
our reporting on Anna Mae Aquash.
We ask you to please give us credit:
"Reprinted with permission by News From Indian Country."
Thank you.

[NOTE: For more NFIC articles and information on Annie Mae's case please visit their site.

All links to First Nations sites have been supplied by JS Dill. Would also suggest that all who visit this page jump to The net closes.. where you will find recent info re Anna and Her killers.]

Go to 1975
Go to 1976
Go to 1978 & After
March 27, 1945
Anna Mae Pictou was born on the Micmac Reserve near Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia on March 27, 1945 to Mary Ellen Pictou. She had two older sister, Rebecca and Mary and younger brother Francis. Raised Roman Catholic.

Attended Pine Tree School, Pictou Landing School, then New Glasgow Elementary School, and St. John's Academy.

Entered grade nine at Milford High School and departed at completion of school year.

Went to Maine at age 17 for berry and potato harvest, then to Boston with Jake Maloney, a Micmac.

Couple had a daughter, Denise, born June 13, 1964 and Debora born Nov. 11, 1965. Couple then had Roman Catholic marriage at Richibucto, N.B.

1966 to 68
Worked at Elvin Selow sewing factory while husband opened karate school.

Leaves husband who is having affair with white woman, and has experiences in Boston's combat zone.

Assists in formation of Boston Indian Council at 155 Tremont Ave. and becomes volunteer community worker for Boston Indian Council. Leaves sewing factory to work for TRIBE: Teaching and Research in Bicultural Education at Bar Harbor, Maine.

TRIBE funding ends, she enrolls in New Careers Program at Boston's Wheelock College, works in experimental Ruggles Street Day Care.

Entered relationship with artist Nogeeshik Aquash, helped form BIC job placement program, including work at General Motors assembly plant at Framingham outside Boston.

Took part in the demonstration at Plymouth Rock, Mass., in November of 1971.

Took part in the Trail of Broken Treaties in Washington, D.C. in November of 1972 with Boston Indian Council group from Boston. Returned to Boston.

She and Nogeeshik walked into Wounded Knee in mid-March coming through Crow Dog's Paradise and walking into the village at night. She assisted in the building of bunkers. During the occupation she married Nogeesik Aquash in a ceremony conducted by Oglala leader Wallace Black Elk two days after their arrival. The Canadian Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development later would not recognize this marriage.

Arrested with husband by FBI at roadblock on April 25, 1973 upon leaving Wounded Knee and faced "tribal charges" which banned non-members. Returned to Boston with idea of starting survival school.

Instead couple went to Ottawa where they began to organize exhibit of contemporary art.

Ottawa Arts Centre fashion show completed in May of 1974.

She came to Minnesota in late spring 1974 and worked for the Red Schoolhouse in St. Paul, Minn., then the central AIM office in Minneapolis. Has ongoing confrontational relationship with Douglas Durham at central office, particularly over his treatment of women. Attempted to begin ribbon shirt enterprise to raise funds. Began relationship with Dennis Banks.

In August hitchhiked to Kenora occupation in Kenora, Ontario. Then home to Nova Scotia to visit daughters.

In the autumn of 1974 she played a key role as director of the reorganized western AIM office in Los Angeles. She used aliases of Jeanette Aquash, Joanna Jason, Jeanette Jason, Jeannette Ellis, and Annie Maloney. Resided at 191 23rd Ave., Venice, Calif. Identified in Los Angeles FBI report of Aug. 18, 1974. Some AIM women called her "Banks's West Coast woman." Has funding problems with Durham.

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Jan. to Feb.,1975
Participated in Gresham abbey takeover in Wisconsin and operated radio communications unit near roadblock after Durham's departure.

On Feb. 28, FBI Minneapolis in probe of Fairchild takeover identifies her as estranged wife of Nogeeshik Aquash who had lived with Dennis and Kamook Banks in St. Paul. FBI says it has no photo of her.

March 10
Disclosure of Durham operative role.

In the late spring of 1975 she lived at Oglala at the Jumping Bull compound.

After March 27
Brand says FBI Agent Price interviewed Anna Mae after killing of Jeanette Bisonette on March 27.

Attends AIM Farmington convention, taken aside and questioned intensely about suspicions concerning her.

June 25, 1975
Goes to Cedar Rapids with Jean Day in aftermath of Crow Dog trial.

June 26, 1975
Jumping Bull shootout.

Identified by FBI Agent in Pine Ridge as one of Jumping Bull residents.

July 6
FBI Agent at Pine Ridge lists her as one of suspects in Jumping Bull shootout, may be hiding in Canada with Banks and Peltier.

July 9
Named as "witness or unknown suspect" in FBI LHM on Jumping Bull and FBI seeking current location of residence. FBI wants to secure her inked fingerprints, establish if she possesses firearm, make, model and caliber.

July 26
Banks convicted in Custer events, fails to appear for subsequent sentencing.

Aug. 5, 1975
Minneapolis FBI LHM reports information indicating Aquash with Banks and Peltier are attempting to flee to Canada. LHM identifies her with first comprehensive information, including daughters.

Sept. 5
She was arrested after the FBI raid on Crow Dog's Paradise for illegal possession of explosive devices and questioned by the FBI in Pierre FBI Resident Agency at Pierre, S.D. on Sept. 5, 1975 by Agents B. Jeanette Morgan and Frederick Coward Jr. Faces case U.S. v. Pictou..

Anna Mae issued subpoena to testify before federal grand jury in Rapid City on Sept. 17 at 9:00 a.m.

Sept. 8, 1975
Asst. U.S. Attorney Bruce W. Boyd issues memo to Aquash to ignore subpoena because grand jury scheduled later in Rapid City.

Sept. 8
Appeared before U.S. Magistrate in Pierre, released on 10 percent of $5,000 bond. Assigned Attorney Bob Riter, Jr. of Riter, Mayer, Hofer & Riter in Pierre.

Sept. 9
Corp. Wayne MacNeill of Antigonish Detachment of RCMP Office in Truro, Nova Scotia goes to Afton Reserve to speak to Earl Lafford, Anna Mae's brother-in-law.

c. Sept. 11
Interview by Candy Hamilton of WKLDOC in Rapid City.

Sept. 12
Attorney Riter advises her preliminary hearing in U.S. v. Pictou set Sept. 18 in Pierre. Riter tells her U.S. Magistrate believes she will be indicted in the case.

Sept. 13
Anna Mae flies to Los Angeles. (Brand, p. 134).

Sept. 17
Grand jury indicts Aquash for violation of Title 26, U.S. code, Secs. 5861(d) and 5871, unlawfully possessing firearms, explosives and grenades not registered, and also for Secs. 4861(h) and 5871, unlawful possession of firearm with obliterated serial number.

Sept. 19
Riter advises her arraingment scheduled Oct. 3 in Pierre.

Goes underground, travels to Pacific Northwest, Port Madison Reservation, Chiquiti residence.

Nov. 10
Scheduled Anna Mae preliminary hearing before Judge Bogue on August illegal arms case.

Nov. 14
Particpant in Ontario shootout, jailed in Vancouver, writes letter to sister, released to return to South Dakota.

Nov. 24
Aquash transported to Pierre, S.D., released on personal recognizance by District Judge Robert R. Mehrige to appear for trial on Nov. 25. Departed unobserved from motel and goes underground.

Nov. 25
Mehrige issues bench warrant for Aquash arrest after she fails to appear for trial.

Nov. 25
Aquash indicted by federal grand jury in Portland, Ore., for nine counts in Ontario incident.

December, 1975
During December 1975 she was taken from Denver to Rapid City and questioned intensely by some AIM members at WKLDOC headquarters in a people's tribunal format.

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Go to 1975
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Feb. 17,1976
A phone call was placed from Irene Black Crow from Rapid City regarding a case of hit-and-run near Wanblee which police investigated, but found nothing.

Feb. 24,1976
The body of Anna Mae Aquash was found by Roger Amiotte ten miles from Wanblee in a ravine in the northeast portion of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Feb. 25, 1976
A first atopsy was conducted by a local doctor and her hands were removed from her body. Cause of death was ruled to be exposure by Dr. W.D. Brown, who found no bullet wounds.

March 3, 1976
She was buried at Holy Rosary Mission as Jane Doe.

March 3
The hands severed from Jane Doe were identified as those of Aquash by the FBI lab in Washington, D.C.

March 5
The Pictou family was notified of the identification of Anna Mae.

March 6
The FBI announced the identification of Anna Mae.

March 8
SA William B. Wood files affidavit and request for exhumation.

March 8
Attorney Ellison filed for exhumation of the body in the morning. An FBI request for exhumation followed that afternoon.

March 10
Her body was exhumed and a second autopsy was conducted. A bullet was found almost immediately.

March 11
The FBI took the rare step of denying that Anna Mae was an FBI informant in the Rapid City Journal.

March 14, 1976
Her body was honored at wake at Jumping Bull Hall, then reburied on the Wallace Little Ranch in Oglala next to the remains of Joe Stuntz, who was killed during the Jumping Bull shootout.

March 18
Grand jury convened in Pierre, S.D. into Aquash death, titled In the Matter of the Investigation into the Death of Anna Mae Aquash

March 23
New Brunswick Union of Indians in behalf of mother asks Department of External Affairs to investigate Anna Mae Aquash death.

March 31,1976
Mountain States Regional Office of CCR issues first probe of her death, "Events Surrounding Recent Murders on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota."

April 15
Tilsen asks FBI Director Clarence Kelley for full investigation by letter.

April 23
Kelley in reply to Tilsen says FBI giving "preferred investigative attention" to case, can't comment.

April 29
Quaker Committee for Native Concerns asks Secretary of State for for External Concerns for full investigation.

May 26, 1976
FBI Director Kelley issues statement on Anna Mae Aquash case.

July 26
Tilsen letter to IITC regarding FBI handling of Aquash case.

Nov. 15, 1976
Canadian House of Commons debate, External Affairs, death of Aquash in U.S. and report on FBI investigation.

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Go to 1975
Go to 1976
November, 1983
Grand jury begins new probe into Aquash death. U.S. Marshal Robert Ecoffey prompts new investigation into her death through a reopened secret grand jury.

Former FBI Director Kelley in autobiography laments still-unsolved case of her death.

Third grand jury convened to probe Anna Mae's death.

New stones are placed on the graves of Aquash and Stuntz at Wallace Little Ranch in Oglala on Aug. 19, 1996.

Jan. 23, 1997
News From Indian Country publishes timeline of last year in Aquash life, places death between Dec. 15 and 18, 1975.

April 30, 1997
Cousin Robert Branscombe discloses new probe of her death, "Anna Mae's Destiny," over America Online.


Early Years, Johanna Brand, The Life and Death of Anna Mae Aquash
FBI Files
WKLDOC files
NFIC files
RVL files

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For more NFIC articles and information on Annie Mae's case please visit their site.