Remembering Jimmy Raincloud

From the Scanlon Creek Times, submitted by Michael Penny, Ahoappa Tribal Elder.

This winter marks a macabre anniversary for the Ahoappa First Nations tribe. It will be three years since Jimmy Raincloud’s terrible death on a lonely, snow-covered sideroad, his body cast away like so many promises of the past. He would now have been 23 had he survived.

And although we know that the Scanlon Creek police claim to believe they know who commited this and other acts of murder, there are those among us who feel that the killing will never cease. Our tribe has been nearly wiped out twice in the past twenty-five years. What will stop a third monster from visiting our young and carrying their souls into the night? The Ahoappa, like many First Nations peoples, will once again be easy prey for those who kill for nothing more than sport.

And who is to blame for this? The Wasichu? Certainly they are to be mistrusted because of the historical misdeeds heaped time and time again upon our people. And certainly the murderous Reverend Tillman was white, as were many other butchers over the centuries.

But I believe blaming them is too easy. Perhaps we should share a small portion of the blame, for letting ourselves become too indifferent about our fate. The young people who fell victim to this most recent serial killer may have found bittersweet relief at his hands; indeed, he provided an escape from joblessness, drug and alcohol abuse, police brutality, and sexual abuse. Their indifference to their own lives begat others’ indifference as well.   

And change can start with us. With the Elder Council’s and your help, our beloved Chief Morning Sun will usher in a new era for our young peoples’ future, introducing something they didn’t have before. Hope. Belief. Courage. Respect. All qualities our beloved Black Feather possesses, and of which we will all be the beneficiaries.

God Bless Jimmy Raincloud, a young man who did not die in vain. Never forget the lessons we have learned from his tragic ending, and if anyone can help positively identify his killer, please contact this newspaper directly.

You can learn more about this case at

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Author: Richard S. Todd

Pro copywriter. Expressive voice artist. Award-winning public speaker.

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