National Film Board of Canada
In 1975 Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, a 30-year-old Nova-Scotia born Mi'kmaw, was shot dead, execution style, on a desolate road in South Dakota. Nearly three decades later, the crime remains a mystery.
Aquash was highly placed in the American Indian Movement (AIM), a radical First Nations organization that took up arms in the 1970s to fight for the rights of their people. The film provides a glimpse into a period of extraordinary social upheaval in North America, from a native perspective. AIM-like the Black Panthers and anti-Vietnam war protesters-were threatening the established order.
The Spirit of Annie Mae is a moving tribute from the women who were closest to her: the two young daughters who fled with their mother when she hid from the FBI; the young women she inspired to embrace native language and spirituality; and the other activists like Buffy Sainte-Marie and investigative journalist Minnie Two Shoes.