Just wanted to say thank you for all that you are doing for my dear friend and sister Annie Mae whom I knew as a dear big sister and we spent many months and happy times together in the often dangerous and trying times of the seventies in the Twin Cities and South Dakota. She truly was the person of heart that everyone speaks about.
The last time I saw her was a couple of months before she was taken. I remember the times when she stood with the warriors, when very many men didn't. During the times of the Oglala period she vowed to never leave us...the Oglala group... which she still hasn't. Dino and Nilak Butler and myself were very close together with her and we took care of her briefly during those times when she was accused by many people.
As a young man she nourished me with stories of her youth and the need for more action against the system. We had many prayer meetings with her. Years ago I had a ribbon shirt that she and Nilak made for me when we were on the run after Oglala. My mother years ago threw my ragged shirt in the trash not knowing how special that shirt was to me.
I remember her as a very kind and gentle woman who was also a good fighter, she knew karate. We use to spar a lot and boy could she tease hard. There are many stories and times that I had with her and others that I value and cherish. I rarely talk about her to any one unless they were with us in those dangerous times.
A couple of years ago she came to me in a dream and smiled at me, after which I thanked her with the burning of tobacco.
As a young teenager during those times I'm reminded of the war that we still fight today, only now it's a different kind of war...never the less it's the same, as I today get death threats for my work within D.B.C. It is because of Annie Mae, John T., Dino and my late sister Nilak's commitment that I do what I do for my Dine people. They instilled in me a determination to fight with all I have, regardless of what others perceive me to be.
For some reason I was a major part of that era and seen and heard many things that many only talk about and who have no idea the sacrifices we all made for each other. All that I have learned from my brother John and Dino , example and words, is in my spirit and heart - which no man or government can ever take away.... this I learned from them. As for the Movement leaders, I have seen them and experienced their b.s. as so very few people saw and or could ever imagine.
I now look at this and think that finally justice is being done. I truly thank you from my heart for making such a strong stand her. Again thank you for doing what you do for her and many of us still alive today.Respectfully,
We are no longer silenced by fear
The Indigenous Women for Justice.
Marley Shebala (Navajo/Zuni)
Spokeswoman-Indigenous Women for Justice
The IWJ is a unity sisterhood of women from indigenous nations located
in what is commonly called the United States and Canada.