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Yukoners rally around John Graham

CBC North
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

WHITEHORSE - A group of Yukoners is trying to raise enough money to get John Graham out of a Vancouver jail.

Graham, a member of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation of Haines Junction, is wanted in the United States in connection with the death of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.

The Mi'kmaq woman was involved with the American Indian Movement in the early 1970s. She was shot, possibly on suspicion of being an FBI informant, in 1976.

The American government wants Graham extradited to face trial in connection with her murder.

A Vancouver judge has set a $125,000 bail limit and other conditions on Graham before he can be released.

Yukon singer-songwriter Matthew Lien says his friend is innocent. He helped organized the John Graham defense committee.

"We need to raise $25,000 and were about halfway to that," he says. "A strong and noble advocate of First Nations rights is in a very difficult situation now and he must be released very soon so that he can actively participate in the preparation of his own defense, we feel that's very important."

Graham is scheduled to make his next court appearance in Vancouver later this month.

Copyright CBC North 2004