Madonna Thunder Hawk to speak at U of South Dakota

Vermillion, South Dakota (AP/ICC) 10-07

Madonna Thunder Hawk, a veteran leader of major events during the Red Power movement in the 1970s, is scheduled to speak at the University of South Dakota on Oct. 18.

Known as Madonna Gilbert in the ‘70s, she remains an activist and organizer with experience in American Indian rights protection, cultural preservation, economic development, environmental justice and Lakota treaty rights advocacy, USD said in a release.

Thunder Hawk has also emerged in recent years as one of many persons of interest to federal investigators looking into the 1975 execution style slaying of Canadian Micmac Annie Mae Pictou-Aquash by members of the American Indian Movement.

Thunder Hawk was allegedly part of the team of AIM members who interrogated Aquash in Rapid City, South Dakota hours before her death. AIM leaders Vernon and Clyde Bellecourt, and Dennis Banks came to believe Aquash was working for the FBI in some capacity according to court witness testimony and had Leonard Peltier interrogate her at gunpoint in June of 1975.

Thunder Hawk is a first cousin of AIM leader Russell Means who is related to no fewer than eight mid level AIM members who are part of the federal conspiracy investigation, including twin brothers Ted and William (Kills) Means and their aunt Theda Nelson-Clark.

In addition, Thunder Hawk also oversaw the AIM clinic at Wounded Knee South Dakota during the AIM occupation of the village in 1973.

There a wounded black activist and disciple of Martin Luther King, Perry Ray Robinson Jr., was brought after he was shot in the knee by AIM security members around April 25, 1973 for refusing to participate in a firefight with federal authorities, disrespecting Leonard Crow Dog and being accused of working as an FBI spy according to AIM members who were in Wounded Knee at the time or are familiar with the investigation.

Robinson was alleged to have been brought to the clinic by AIM security overseen by AIM member Carter Camp and seen by several participants and medics at the clinic before allegedly passing away while there. He was later buried by Christ (Chris/Cris) Westerman (according to Dennis Banks) inside AIM Wounded Knee perimeters where his remains have yet to be recovered and repatriated to the family.


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