Each Saturday, Buffalo Post runs a selection of stories from Native Sun News.
Photo and story by Evelyn Broecher
Native Sun News Correspondent
RAPID CITY – Thelma Conroy-Rios, an American Indian activist, has been accused as an accessory in the 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash. She blames her situation on an “irresponsible media addicted to sensationalism.” She said, “To me, these people abuse me when they print lies.”
But, who is Thelma Rios and, how did this Allen country girl get from the reservation to infamous AIM extremist on trial for accessory to murder?Rios appears to be as confused as anyone about the charges against her. “Everyone knew my house was safe and clean. Alcohol was never allowed in my home. My home was open to all people in need, including people of all races, religions, and ages.” She said she opened her home to the homeless, and domestic violence victims, kids off the street, and elders in need.
“I have lived this way for 40 years, Rios said. “I was even a licensed foster parent. The Department of Social Services would bring me Indian children no one could handle. Even the police department would bring people who needed help to my home.”
“That’s why I don’t understand how anyone could even think I could stand by and watch any woman be kidnapped, abused, or tied-up,” Rios said, referring to prior testimony of events leading to the murder of Aquash.