On the passing of Bob Robideau

By Paul DeMain
News From Indian Country 3-09

We once talked about sharing common relatives from the White Earth Reservation in the  distant past, about warriors and how proud he was that his cousin Leonard Peltier once called him a Hyena. He sent me articles showing how Hyenas operated in a tribally orientated collective way.

He never veered from his pursuit of freedom for his cousin, inventing an alternative killer, Mr X, and talking the man on to 60 Minutes as something legitimate. Years later he would tell me he was actually Mr X, and the one who shot the agent(s). I never believed him. And nobody in AIM who knew the truth, would budge, but when they laughed.

I did try to give him some benefit of doubt. Maybe it was because Bob, like me, pursued the trail about who killed Annie Mae Pictou-Aquash in 1975.

In 2005 he resigned as national spokesman of Peltier’ support group when Graham starting comparing himself to Peltier, and Peltier joined Graham’s attempts to avoid extradition from Canada.

Robideau believed that some members inside AIM had unduly tied Peltier to the Aquash case by motive, when Peltier had little capability to order anything of the kind. Peltier was only a bodyguard.

But Bob was right about the whispers.

The need to point  fingers at somebody like Peltier, was plausible, with motive. But all it was meant to do was redirect attention from those who likewise had motives, like the late Vernon Bellecourt who promptly jacketed Robideau as a government agent, advocating for Peltier in the public, but whispering the exact opposite behind his back.

Robideau knew enough of the truth about Annie Mae, not to like it. He was incensed that members of AIM could actually kill “one of their own.”

While he chastised KaMook Nichols (Banks) for testifying that Peltier had bragged to her, her sister and Annie Mae about killing one of the agents – Robideau insisted that Peltier did so, only because he trusted Annie Mae. He may have missed the bigger implication about his statement, but his intent was to show that it was not Peltier who moved against Aquash.

And, it was clear that Robideau maintained a difference between the murder of “one of our own” and the death of two government FBI agents.

Robideau will be missed by those that loved his fighting, sparring spirit. But he lived far longer then the two FBI agents he said died like “worms,” on June 26, 1975. There will be no love lost from those in either law enforcement or National AIM he targeted with Counter-Intelligence like techniques, probes and wire taps.

But he was a Human Being... if only he had found that same compassion for the lives of Coler and Williams, that true Native warriors know how to express, he might have deserved the respect that comes... when somebody finally passes.


To learn more checkout: Facebook.com/AnnieMaePictouAquash