by Laura Byrne Pacquet
JOHANNA BRAND`s The Lifeand Death of Anna Mae Aquash (James Lorimer, 176 pages, $14.95 paper) points afinger at extremely Suspicious FBI actions surrounding the death of a CanadianNative-rights activist on an Indian reserve in South Dakota in 1976.Originally published in 1978, the book has been reissued with a new foreword bythe Liberal MP Warren Allmand and a new afterword by Anna Mae Aquash`s sisterBecky. Frustratingly, none of the main text has been updated. As the book`spremise hinges on the fact that governments in the United States and Canadahave actively tried to crush Native movements, why did the author not add achapter putting the Native rights situation since 1978 into perspective!
According to thePublisher, tile book is being reissued due to interest in the related case ofLeonard Peltier, leader ofthe American Indian Movement (AIM) who, according tohis supporters, has been wrongly jailed for murder. Brand makes a persuasivecase that Aquash`s involvement with AIM may have led to her murder, but withoutany information ondevelopments in the two cases since 1978 - for example, how did the FBIand the Canadian government react to Brand`s book when it was first published`the book seems dated. Nevertheless, this account of Aquash`S Unusual death andthe suspicious investigation that followed it is disturbingand compelling, even 18 yearslater.