“Although much has been written about the tragic events at Wounded Knee and Pine Ridge, Joe Trimbach's book appears to be the first definitive report of the courageous efforts of federal law enforcement (FBI, U.S. Marshals and BIA), often at great personal risk, to restore order to the Native Americans living in the midst of violence and intimidation. Mafia is well documented and presents an important contribution to our understanding of what actually happened.”
—Judge William H. Webster, former Director, FBI,
former Director, CIA
“As a longtime journalist, author, and Oglala Lakota born, raised and educated on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, I have been appalled at the many books, movies, and documentaries about Wounded Knee II and about Leonard Peltier that are so filled with myths, misconceptions and outright lies… Trimbach takes apart Matthiessen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, movies like Thunderheart, Lakota Woman, and A Tattoo on My Heart - The Warriors of Wounded Knee 1973, and exposes them for the frauds that they are. It is refreshing to finally hear the other side of the story.”
—Tim Giago, former editor and publisher of Indian Country Today
author and nationally syndicated columnist
"A gripping, no-holds barred account of what really happened at Wounded Knee—one of the bloodiest and most controversial chapters in the long proud history of the FBI. Joe Trimbach is a myth-breaker; his carefully compiled chronology is a must-read for all Americans who seek truth behind the headlines.”
—Oliver North, Lt Col USMC (Ret.)
“It's an ugly dark feeling realizing you were lied to. For many years I supported clemency for Leonard Peltier, and towed the line for leadership of the American Indian Movement… The facts, the anger, and the blame Mafia puts on AIM, on its sympathizers, and even on the institution Trimbach once worked for, is from a law-enforcement perspective, and is revealing. See clearly through the foggy AIM alibis, the false cry of civil rights. From a tiny element of Native America we once looked up to, the people's Movement was hijacked by false warriors, murderers, and liars. Whether you support the FBI or thought of it as your enemy, Mafia is a must-read for understanding the other side of the DMZ, established at Wounded Knee ’73.”
—Paul DeMain (Oneida-Ojibwe), Editor,
News From Indian Country
“The Peltier myth of innocence was a wormy ship until Joe Trimbach came along and blew it out of the water… a powerful, powerful reporting of history."
—Bill Janklow, Attorney General of South Dakota ( 1975 thru 1978),
Governor of South Dakota ( 1979 thru 1986) (1995 thru 2002)
“Mafia is the most authentic, on-site factual reporting of the events at Wounded Knee to date… supported by citations, evidence, and references of no dispute… an extraordinary effort… yet it will never be known how many innocent lives were saved by the men and women of the FBI.”
—Frank E. Denholm, former South Dakota Congressman (D)
“Finally, an excellent factual rendition of what actually happened at Wounded Knee, the Wounded Knee trials, and the aftermath.”
—David Gienapp, former AUSA and past President,
South Dakota Bar Association
“Virtually every point Peltier’s supporters cite in his favor has already been submitted to the courts and specifically rejected in each of the many published opinions analyzing his claims… These facts are expertly woven together by Joe Trimbach and should be sufficient to convince even the staunchest of Peltier’s defenders that they bet on the wrong horse.”
—Lynn Crooks, Assistant U.S Attorney (Retired),
District of North Dakota
“Using documents and materials that haven't been touched by reporters and writers in three decades, Joe Trimbach’s first-person account devastates all the popular myths surrounding AIM’s history. The gloss is gone, the legacy exposed for what it really is.”
—Ed Woods, Founder, No Parole Peltier Association
“Mafia should be placed on library shelves across the country... a fine example of works of historic merit.”
—Robert J. Heibel, Executive Director,
Mercyhurst College, Institute for Intelligence Studies
My Dear Trimbach,
At this moment I have finished reading without pause your book American Indian Mafia. I am an American Indian, an Ojibway man and a keeper and protector of the sacred pipe.
I hope to write you again one day when my thoughts are more coherent. I am emotionally drained and barely able to speak. I am deeply moved and broken hearted by your book. It is hard to find the right words except to say thank you for your courage and your clarity.
Over the years I have refused many times to work with some of the very people you have named. Just looking them in the eye was an unclean experience. And over those same years I have seen what you have seen. I have always trusted the sacred of my elders to direct me and right now I feel so fortunate and blessed to have had their education, their humanity and clarity to guide me into a good life.... I believe what you have said. It is logical, and as you hope, appeals to common sense.
I am unable to say much more at this moment than to thank you for your tireless and important documentation. I wonder how your dreams have been and other foolish things that only wabeno people care about. The truth does count and my only prayer is that this work will be like corn and grow strong roots and bring more fruit of the truth into the minds of the people. For Indian people, this is a vitally important document.
I salute you and feel indebted to you on behalf of the innocent and the lost children of the mystery life waiting for us to wake up at last. I believe your work will help a great deal. I hope also you will feel some peace from doing this important work, which only you could have done and you did it... migwitch.
I wonder what the name is that the old old man gave to you? If you were paying attention, you were given a name. It may have been done very quietly but is part of the great law.
Hymhenteqhous Mizhekay Odayin