Wounded Knee veteran takes exception with segment V of We Shall Remain

Dear Editor,

There is PLENTY OF BULL in the up-coming Segment V on Wounded Knee in the We Shall Remain series by PBS.

The Wounded Knee segment is arguably the most massaged documentary in history, and far from being one of the best ever made. I know this because I was there, at Wounded Knee. At the age of 19, I backpacked weapons and supplies into the village with my AIM brothers.

I remember it was near Easter, because that’s when our leader, Dennis Banks, ordered us to “take care” of a young white guy, suspected of being an informant. We knew what that meant. We strung him up on a cross in a mock crucifixion, and beat him.

After we took him down, they led him away and I don’t think he was ever heard from again. This story is one of too many dirty little secrets that producer Stanley Nelson certainly was told about, but decided not to use in this sugar-coated tribute to AIM thugs. I am sorry to say I once followed AIM leadership. But now I spend a lot of time exposing them. Other stories you will not hear in this very one-sided production:

1. How AIM leaders and followers pillaged the town, looted the museum, stole family heirlooms, fire-bombed homes, set tripwire explosives in the ravines, slaughtered cattle in bedrooms, and drove the town’s few automobiles dry before setting them on fire.

Most of the victims were of course Indians. Victoria Little Moon came home to find her plumbing ripped out, her fixtures smashed, and her furniture destroyed. Elmer Too Too found his trailer looted and wrecked beyond repair. Agnes Gildersleeve, owner of the trading post that was burned to the ground, lost her life savings. Agnes, by the way, was enrolled in the same tribe as Dennis Banks.

2. How Raymond Robinson, the only black man seen inside the village during the occupation, was shot during an argument by AIM leaders (a shooting I witnessed) and then carted off to our infirmary where he disappeared. He’s probably still there, near the village ruins, along with other secret murder victims.

3.  How, in early March, AIM leaders donned war paint, loaded their rifles, and fanned out from the village in stolen cars. They converged on Roadblock no. 3, where they opened fire on a small group of FBI agents and U.S. Marshalls. Had it not been for a five-car team of lawmen who responded to distress calls, the brave warriors of AIM might have succeeded in gunning down the FBI’s first female agent.

I could tell you a lot more stories about what really happened at Wounded Knee, stories you won’t hear about in this latest excuse for terror and violence.

What you will see in Stanley Nelson’s version is predictable and redundant, especially considering his use of the same old lies and distortions from AIM leaders who love to talk about themselves on camera, but have a lot to hide in person.

I’m not saying don’t watch this film. Watch the perpetrators implicate themselves, but take the time to educate yourself on the whole story.

Read the book American Indian Mafia, (americanindianmafia.com) a book I strongly endorse. The producers of Episode V do not want you to read it, which is exactly why you should. Yes, true glory lies within honest history. But when the truth is buried at Wounded Knee, those who help keep it buried dishonor true Native tradition and history.

Richard Two Elk (Pine Ridge Lakota)
Denver, Colorado

See: PBS series tells 300 years of Native history See also:Letter from John M. Trimbach