Who Are the Indigenous Women for Justice?

In the short space of time that the IWJ site has been posted, thousands of people from around the world have visited us, and we thank you all for doing so, and for the positive messages of support we continue to receive.

We thank our brothers, including John Trudell, Bob Robideau, and Keith Secola for standing with us.

For reasons best known to themselves, less than a half-dozen individuals have chosen to ask over and over again who the IWJ are, instead of focusing on the issue - justice for a murdered indigenous mother.

Our opening statement, "No Longer to be Silenced by Fear," answers the question of who we are:

"To be a member of the Indigenous Women for Justice you don't have to carry a banner, or march down main street, or participate in any action that creates fear of persecution or retribution; membership to the IWJ is in your heart and through your prayers.
How do we know what happened to Anna Mae? Because IWJ members were silent witnesses who are silent no more." Just in case John Boy Graham missed that last line, we'd like to repeat it: IWJ members were silent witnesses who are silent no more. In other words John Boy, we have members who were witnesses to the events of December 1975. Don't you feel more secure now that has been explained?

For the record, IWJ members have been quoted in the international and national press - from the BBC to the Lakota Nation Journal - and every official communication we have sent out has featured the name and contact details of our principal spokeswoman, Marley Shebala (Navajo/Zuni).

Despite the John Graham Defense Committee's attempts to have Marley fired from her job, and their spokesman, Matt Lien's, attempt to have our server remove our website, we continue to stand behind our spokeswoman and the facts presented in "The Lies of John Graham."

Our members range from high-profile artists to grassroots mothers who are just trying to survive, day-to-day, on our nations and in the colonizer's cities. We are not going to post the names of these women, for some of them fear that public exposure will impact their careers, and others fear physical violence and retribution. For any who doubt that such a threat is real, they only need to look at what happened to Annie Mae, a woman who stood up and spoke out. They only need to ask how Kelly White's daughter ended up with forty-six stitches in her head after her mother stood up for Annie Mae and made the call that turned Graham in.

We are the Indigenous Women for Justice (IWJ), we are not the Indigenous Women for Justice, Inc., or the IWJ, LLC, or the IWJ Ltd. We are not raising money or trying to sell books, tapes, CDs, T-shirts, or anything else on the back of this tragedy, we are only interested in providing an outlet where fact and reality take precedence over fiction and imaginative conspiracy. We live in reality, the everyday reality of Native women, not the virtual reality of the Internet and chatroom safety-zones inhabited by viperous spectators with pseudonyms.

You don't live and die in a chatroom. When you're finished you just turn your computer off. In real life there is no such switch. As our name indicates, we are indigenous women. We have to survive in the colonizer's society. But, that does not mean that we have to recreate ourselves in his image. Why would we appoint board members or give each other titles that have no relevance in our culture? We are not so colonized or culturally disenfranchized as to need to convince others of our importance with titles like "Minister of Information" or "Head of Security and Intelligence" or "National Director." We are indigenous women, the lifegivers, and we carry our culture in our blood and our memories, not on a button or a ribbon shirt. Colonization is destructive to both the colonizer and the colonized. The colonizer's child goes into a state of denial of the pain he has caused.

We agree with our brother, Bob Robideau, when he says of Annie Mae's killers, "He and those that followed his dictates must pay their dues and I feel in the enemy's court is a proper and fitting place for these individuals." The IWJ reafirms its support for Annie Mae's daughters, Debbie and Denise, who wish to see their mother's killers tried in the enemy's court and criminal justice system. John Boy Graham is living up to the name "Boy." A man, a true Native man, would never have murdered a Native mother, the crime that John Boy is indicted for. A man might at least step forward and take the polygraph we challenged John Boy to take - a polygraph conducted by an independent examiner.

What are you afraid of John Boy? You are afraid to take this polygraph, you are afraid to stand trial, you are afraid to say who was in Bill Mean's house and ordered you to kill Annie Mae. Why? You claim to be innocent, so surely you can't be afraid of the truth. You are a coward, and as we have demonstrated in "The Lies of John Graham," you are a pitiful liar who hides behind others - others who are probably sincere and have good hearts, but that you have misled. What kind of man lies to his friends so that they will protect him? We have invited you to take the polygraph, and we have invited you to contact us directly if you want to challenge us to play the tapes we have in our possession that form the basis of "The Lies of John Graham." We have invited you, John Boy, to contact us. We are still waiting. John Boy, the opposite of love isn't hate, it's fear. Your Masters feared Annie Mae, as you fear her and the truth now.

Violence against women is not traditional and the Indigenous Women for Justice once again urges Canada to extradite John Boy Graham to face trial for the charge on which he is indicted, the first-degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.

In the spirit of Anna Mae Pictou, Marley Shebala (Navajo/Zuni) — Spokeswoman-Indigenous Women for Justice — marleyshebala@nativeamerican.net

We are no longer silenced by fear
The 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.

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