Pedro Aloysius Bissonette

Pedro Aloysius Bissonette

Death 17 Oct 1973 (aged 28–29)
Pine Ridge, Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, USA
Burial Pine Ridge, Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, USA
Memorial ID 12536775 View Source
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Pedro grew up with my dad (they were cousins) and he was a close friend of our family. I remember as a small child Pedro being at our house with other relatives and playing with us kids. I remember when he was murdered and when we went back to Pine Ridge for his funeral.

hmmm somebody messed with this bio. I had his history as a freedom fighter for his people in Pine Ridge SD and how he was murdered by the feds. funny how that all disappeared.

...Bissonette, the slain leader of the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization (OSCRO), hang above candles that burn in his memory. Bissonette was an expert on the Dick Wilson regime and would have been a crucial witness for the defense in the trial of Dennis Banks and Russell Means on Wounded Knee related charges. On August 27, 1973, Bissonette was arrested in Rapid City on the charge of "interfering with a federal officer." He was offered probation in return for helpful testimony about Wounded Knee, and threatened with a 99 year sentence if he refused. To this he responded, "I will stand with my brothers and sisters. I will tell the truth about them and about why we went to Wounded Knee. I will fight for my people. I will live for them if it is necessary to stop the terrible things that happen to Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I am ready to die for them"

A judge dropped the charges and Bissonette returned to Pine Ridge, where Wilson's all out assault on AIM continued. Had Bissonette spoken in court, he would have exposed the corruption on Pine Ridge before the national media. But on October 17, 1973, Bissonette was shot to death by BIA police who claimed he was resisting arrest. His alleged crime was to knock down a man who had insulted him, in what was an apparent provocation. It was later revealed that the shotgun blast that killed Pedro Bissonette was fired from less than two feet away. Dennis Banks called the murder a "federal assassination conspiracy." A group of runners led by Banks depart Calico Hall for Wounded Knee, a distance of 20 miles, emboldened by the drum beat that honors Pedro Bissonette. They run into a driving blizzard, a storm that surprised everyone on the reservation after a week of 50 degree days. At noon the exhausted runners reach Wounded Knee, where there are tipis and warm fires...