Remembering Tina Manning-Trudell (Paiute-Shoshone)

PHOTO: Tina Manning (left) John Trudell and their children

Tina Manning-Trudell was a Paiute-Shoshone water rights activist and wife of John Trudell, Chairman of the American Indian Movement.

Manning was the daughter of Arthur and Leah Hicks Manning. Her father had served as the tribal chairman of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation. She attended the University of Tulsa, where first she met John Trudell.

She was killed, along with her unborn baby (Josiah Hawk), three other children – Ricarda Star, Sunshine Karma, and Eli Changing Sun – and her mother in an arson attack on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in northern Nevada on 12 February 1979. Her father survived the fire but was badly burned. The attack took place less than 12 hours after John Trudell had delivered a speech in front of FBI headquarters during which he burned a United States flag.

On February 12, 1979, Trudell lost his wife, Tina Manning and their three children, and his mother-in-law Leah Hicks-Manning in a suspicious fire at the home of his parents-in-law on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Nevada. His father-in-law Arthur Manning survived. He was a member of the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe‘s tribal council who was working for treaty rights. Opponents included the local tribal police chief and the BIA superintendent, John Artichoker. Leah coordinated social services at the reservation. Tina had been working for tribal water rights at the Wildhorse Reservoir. Opponents of her campaign included officials of the local BIA, Elko County and Nevada state officials, members of the water recreation industry, and local European-American ranchers.[5] Other activists have also speculated whether there was government involvement behind the tragedy.[6]

Source: wikipedia

FOOTNOTE: What happened to John’s family, their murder was never investigated by the government. No one was ever prosecuted.  I met and interviewed John a few times and I do know that many in the American Indian Movement (AIM) were targeted by CO-INTEL PRO – and to kill his family would have dis-empowered the movement, to destroy John, to create fear, all to break him. They did break him (and other Indians) but not in the way you might think.  I will continue to cover history on this blog as well as adoption trafficking…. Lara/Trace


  1. […] The “spoken word” artist said he didn’t set out to be a poet or writer.  After an unspeakable tragedy took the lives of his wife, Tina, their three children and Tina’s mother, back in 1979, he started writing.  The fire that killed them was declared an accident by the FBI who declined to investigate.  This happened just 12 hours after a group marched to FBI headquarters in Wash. DC, where Trudell delivered an address on the FBI’s war against Native Americans.  He burned an American flag in protest of racism and class injustice.  To this day, Trudell believes government operatives set the blaze, “It was murder. They were murdered as an act of war.”  [READ MORE ABOUT TINA] […]


  2. Thank you for a great post. The women of AIM are often ignored, so it’s gratifying to see info put out there on their tireless work to protect Mother Earth and the traditional way. Anna Mae Pictou Aquash being another whom has been ignored. I have seen how powerful the women were at Standing Rock — it was the women who got the movement started and took action. This white lady is trying to re-connect with my tribal roots, as John Trudell so eloquently put it, we are all from tribes, but some of us have had it beaten out of us 1-2,000 years ago, so our journey to remember is a lot longer trail. Thanks so much for this and the post on John.

    Liked by 1 person

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