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Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash was born on March 27, 1945 in a small Indian village in Nova Scotia, Canada.She experienced extreme poverty in her childhood, on a small Mic-Mac Reservation.However, she learned of the richness of her people's culture.She attended an off-reservation school where she could experience the harsh daily racial discrimination that caused most of her fellow Mic-Macs to drop out.She continued her education into high school until one day, she and her siblings came home to find that their mother had abandoned them.She then dropped out of school and turned to the only profession she knew, working the potato and berry harvest.
In 1968, she joined the Natives Call for Equal Rights, CulturalRecognition and the Fulfillment of the Treaties, working as a volunteer in the Boston, MA Indian Council's headquarters.Her duties centered on helping young, urban Natives to develop self-esteem in an attempt to avoid alcohol abuse; which is very frequent in Indian communities.She became active in AIM (American Indian Movement) protesting not only for American Indian rights, but also for the negative image in which they are portrayed in American history.Aquash then began to working the Teaching and Research in Bicultural Education School Project (TRIBES).The curriculum consisted of traditional subjects as well as Indian history, values, and beliefs to ingest pride in the students.The project was successful, but it closed in 1972, when funding was cut.Later Anna engaged in teaching and assistance, and when offered a scholarship for Brandeis University, in Massachusetts, she declined it to continue her work in the black and Indian communities.
In 1972, Anna participated in AIMs promoted Trail of Broken Treaties March in Washington, D.C., an event that drew Indians from all places and thefirst time a national organization of Indians had faced a confrontation as a united people.
In April of 1973,…

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