The Associated Press reported Monday, March 1, that John Boy Graham, one of the men indicted for the first-degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash, has refused to take a polygraph. On January 31, 2004, the Indigenous Women for Justice (IWJ), a US-based Native women's advocacy group, challenged Graham to take a polygraph to be conducted by an independent examiner. Graham is quoted as saying, "Who are they (the IWJ) to challenge," and "They've been saying that for years," of the IWJ's stance that we have proof of his involvement in Anna Mae’s murder. We can add Graham’s latter statement to "The Lies of John Graham," being as the IWJ was only formed in January 2004. "The Lies of John Graham" can be viewed at www.indigenouswomenforjustice.org.
"The Lies of John Graham" is compiled from on-the-record, recorded interviews with AIM leaders, members, and individuals connected to the Aquash murder case, along with written testimonials and transcripts. Graham conducted one of the recorded interviews, and should Graham directly question the credibility of the statements attributed to him, or others, in "The Lies of John Graham," the IWJ will air those recorded statements. All Graham has to do is contact us by phone so that we can verify it’s him. "Put it on the table," Graham said of "The Lies of John Graham" in his AP interview - we did better than that, we've had "The Lies of John Graham" on the Internet since January. Who are the Indigenous Women for Justice to challenge John Graham? We are his conscience; we are the Native women he looks at everyday and sees Anna Mae looking back at him.
Who the IWJ are is explained at http://indigenouswomenforjustice.org/who.html. IWJ members and supporters range from high-profile artists to grassroots mothers and grandmothers who are just trying to survive, day-to-day, on our nations: from the likes of Anna Mae's daughters, Denise and Debbie Maloney Pictou, to Grammy nominee and Native American Music Award winner, Arigon Starr, to Arapaho elder and educator Leona Buckman. The IWJ's high-profile male supporters include John Trudell, NAMMY winner Keith Secola, and June 26, 1975, Oglala fire-fight veterans Norman Brown and Bob Robideau (International Spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee). The IWJ's spokeswoman, Marley Shebala, is an award-winning Native journalist.
Graham told the AP, "This is not about women's or men's issues," when patently it is. The abduction, rape, and execution of a woman is all about "women's and men's issues." Rape is about power and dominance. In Thelma Rios's apartment, Arlo Looking Cloud sat outside the room in which witnesses allege Graham raped Anna Mae; we have Graham on tape acknowledging that Looking Cloud was sitting outside the room they kept Anna Mae in, so a reasonable person would conclude that whoever was sitting outside that room would know who was going in and out of it, and would be aware of what was happening in it, particularly as rape is not a quiet crime. Looking Cloud has said Graham raped Anna Mae. Graham admits Looking Cloud was there. At first-light on December 12, 1975, Graham had the ultimate power kick over a woman; he shot Anna Mae in the back of the head. Graham is an exponent of matricide, he pulled the trigger on an indigenous mother whose life and death symbolizes the struggle of indigenous women, and whose strength continues to inspire Native women. Anna Mae stood up to men in the AIM leadership who couldn't handle it, and so they ordered her death. Sworn testimony now confirms that Arlo Looking Cloud, Theda Clark, and John Graham carried out the death sentence, and Graham has the audacity to talk about being "railroaded" and "sham" trials - what kind of trial did Anna Mae get John? You must at least remember what her appeals process was, when she was begging you and Arlo not to kill her as you pulled her out of Theda's Ford Pinto on Highway 73.
As usual, in his AP interview Graham failed to provide anything to support his claims of innocence, and instead recites his Vernon Bellecourt inspired "it was the FBI," and Looking Cloud's trial was "an indictment against the American Indian Movement." The fact that the prosecution’s main witnesses were present or former AIM members, including the once National Chairman of AIM, John Trudell, would seem to undermine the assertion that AIM was on trial. Instead of trying to diffuse the focus, let's concentrate on what the witnesses testified to, and what the IWJ said before Looking Cloud’s trial: Arlo was there when Anna Mae was killed, and John Graham shot her in the head. The consistent theme throughout the testimony, and Looking Cloud's only defense, was that Graham shot Anna Mae. Nobody needs to “railroad Graham into prison,” the evidence will put him there should he ever stand trial. Like all men who abuse and murder women, Graham is a coward - he's afraid of the truth, he's afraid to say who was in Bill Mean's house and who ordered him to shoot Anna Mae, he's afraid to stand trial, he's afraid to take a polygraph, and he hides behind his lies and the friends he has deceived. If John Graham is an innocent man, the IWJ see no reason why he would not consent to a polygraph, for if he is truly innocent, what does he have to fear?
Predictably, the Indigenous Women for Justice (IWJ) have been accused of being covert government agents and informants, presumably what Vernon Bellecourt calls "extremist informants." It sounds familiar to us, to accuse women who stand-up of being informants . . . isn't that why Anna Mae was executed? Despite the attacks and intimidation, we stand by our position and "The Lies of John Graham." How do we know what happened to Anna Mae? Because IWJ members were silent witnesses who are silent no more. The Indigenous Women for Justice once again invite John Graham to take a polygraph to be conducted by an independent examiner, and we call on John Graham to expose those who were at Bill Mean's house and who ordered him to shoot Anna Mae. Violence against women is not traditional, and the Indigenous Women for Justice urges Canada to extradite John Graham to face trial for the charge on which he is indicted, the first-degree murder of a Canadian citizen and First Nations' mother, Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.
For more information contact Marley Shebala (Navajo/Zuni)
Spokeswoman-Indigenous Women for Justice
firstname.lastname@example.org - 928-245-1772
The IWJ is a unity sisterhood of women from indigenous nations located
in what is commonly called the United States and Canada.