Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vernon Bellecourt

American Indian Movement leader Vernon Bellecourt has died. The NYT:

Vernon Bellecourt, who fought against the use of Indian nicknames for sports teams as a longtime leader of the American Indian Movement, has died at age 75.Bellecourt died Saturday at Abbott Northwestern Hospital of complications from pneumonia, said his brother, Clyde Bellecourt, a founding member of the militant American Indian rights group. . . .

Vernon Bellecourt — whose Objibwe name WaBun-Inini means Man of Dawn — was a member of Minnesota's White Earth band and was an international spokesman for the AIM Grand Governing Council based in Minneapolis.

No mention of Vern's probable hand in the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, or the Stalin v. Trotsky-like feud with Ward Churchill and Glenn Morris's Colorado AIM. But still the Times obit gives other reasons not to speak too highly of ol' Vern, even in passing (his, that is):

After Wounded Knee, Vernon Bellecourt became a leader of AIM's work abroad, meeting with presidents such as Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, his brother said. He said they plan to list them as honorary pallbearers.

AIM got lots of money from Gadhafi, too (link is to the Drunkablog's very first post); Vern's failure to be sufficiently generous with this booty toward Churchill and Morris was another cause of the falling-out between the groups.

Clyde Bellecourt said his brother had been in Venezuela about four weeks ago to meet with President Hugo Chavez to discuss Chavez' program for providing heating assistance to American Indian tribes. He fell ill around the time of his return, Clyde Bellecourt said.

(via PB)

Update: One breathlessly awaits the Try-Works' encomium, doesn't one?

Update II: And thar she blows: "That's one way to evade a grand jury indictment" (no link).

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