Desiree Marks, who’s held out hope for 40 years that she’d see her father again, said she was crushed by the FBI’s confirmation of his death.
“I’ve always thought that might not be the case. He may come home. He may be alive. He may, he may, he may,” Marks told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “And yesterday, when I was reading the documents it was very difficult. It made it real final.”
AIM co-founder Clyde Bellecourt said Wednesday that he was only in Wounded Knee for 51 days and knew nothing of Robinson.
“I don’t know who he is,” Bellecourt said. “I never met him. I don’t know what he looks like.”
Robinson, a father of three from Bogue Chitto, Ala., traveled to South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in April 1973 to stand alongside Native Americans in their fight against social injustice. The 71-day standoff between AIM members and federal agents at Wounded Knee left at least two tribal members dead and a federal agent seriously wounded. The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation occupation is credited with raising awareness about Native American struggles.
The documents were released in response to Kuzma’s June lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department to help Robinson’s widow, Cheryl Buswell-Robinson, and their children get some closure.
Buswell-Robinson, of Detroit, said her husband’s nonviolent approach conflicted with the violent situation at Wounded Knee and that it’s possible AIM members suspected he was a federal informant. The personable, 6-foot-2 black man with a deep baritone voice would have stood out on a Midwest American Indian reservation, she said.
Robinson’s family just wants to bring his remains home for a proper burial.
“I’d just like to have my dad. I’d like to have a place where I can sit down and talk to him and know he’s there,” said Marks, who also lives in Detroit.