Russell Means has lived a life like few others in this century – revered for his selfless accomplishments and remarkable bravery. He was born into a society and guided by a way of life that gently denies the self in order to promote the survival and betterment of family and community. His culture is driven by tradition, which at once links the past to the present. The L.A. Times has called him the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. His indomitable sense of pride and leadership has become embedded in our national character.
Today, his path has brought him to Hollywood, thus enabling him to use different means to communicate his vital truths. Through the power of media, his vision is to create peaceful and positive images celebrating the magic and mystery of his American Indian heritage. In contemplating the fundamental issues about the world in which we live, he is committed to educating all people about our most crucial battle-the preservation on the earth. Thirty years ago, reflecting the consciousness of the sixties, he captured national attention when he led the 71-day armed takeover on the sacred grounds of Wounded Knee, a tiny hamlet in the heart of South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. Means joined “The Longest Walk” in 1978 to protest a new tide of anti-Indian legislation including the forced sterilization of Indian women. Following the walk, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution saying that national policy was to protect the rights of Indians, “to believe, express and exercise their traditional religions, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.”
Today, with the same passionate determination, he has directed his energy towards the entertainment industry. In a record period of time, this famed political activist and early leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM) has become immersed in all five corners of the business, with projects including: Lead roles in major feature films, (The Last of the Mohican’s, Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers, as a chief in John Candy’s comedy Wagons East and as the ghost of Jim Thorpe in Wind Runner); Disney’s third highest ever selling video (Pocahontas) in which he was the voice of Pocahontas’ father, a television documentary for HBO (Paha Sapa), (Indian Father and Son) a pilot he created; Two albums of protest music with lyrics he wrote (Electric Warrior and The Radical). On the technological side, he stars in a CD-ROM (Under A Killing Moon) and has created his own website www.russellmeans.com. The website features information regarding the A.I.M. club, his recordings via the American Indian Music Company, his art, book, current events, biography and upcoming appearances and direct e-mail to Russell.
Born on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation in 1939, Russell Means is the eldest son of Hank Means, an Oglala Sioux, and Theodora (Feather) Means, a full-blooded Yankton Sioux. Shortly after the outbreak of WWII, his family moved to California, where he graduated from San Leandro High in 1958 and continued his formal education at Oakland City College and Arizona State. Russell’s commitment to uplift the plight of his people escalated when he served as director of Cleveland’s American Indian Center. It was there he met Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, and embarked upon a relationship that would rocket them both into national prominence. During this period, Russell staged numerous events designed to bring dignity to the American Indian. His most famous act of defiance, however, occurred at Wounded Knee on February 27, 1973. Responding to the numerous murders perpetrated by puppet tribal governments and the extreme conditions of oppression, the takeover at Wounded Knee revisited the sight of the American Indian massacre at the hands of U.S. soldiers in 1890. Ever vigilant for his cause, Russell has been lauded by the international community for his tireless efforts.
Russell splits his time between San Jose, NM, his ranch on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian reservation, Porcupine, SD and his office in Santa Monica, CA. He takes pride in having instituted programs for the betterment of his people: notable, the Porcupine Health Clinic (the only non government funded clinic in Indian Country) and KILI radio, the first Indian owned radio station. Today, one of his principle goals is the establishment of a “Total Immersion School”, which is based on a concept created by the Maori people of New Zealand, where children are immersed in the language, culture, science, music and storytelling of their own people. Russell will adapt this total immersion concept to the Indian way of life and philosophy which is taught from a perspective that will nurture a new generation of proud children educated in the context of their own heritage. Russell Means has devoted his life to eliminating racism of any kind, and in so doing he leaves a historical imprint as the most revolutionary Indian leader of the late twentieth century.
An inspirational visionary, Russell Means remains one of the most magnetic voices in America today. Whether leading a protest, fighting for constitutional rights, starring in a motion picture, or performing his “rap-ajo” music, the message he delivers is consistent with the philosophy he lives by, which states: The Universe, which controls all life, has a female and male balance that prevalent throughout our Sacred Grandmother, the Earth.This balance has to be acknowledged and become the determining factor in all of one’s decisions, be they spiritual, social, healthful, educational or economical. Once the balance has become an integral part of one’s life, all planning, research, direct action and follow-up becomes a matter of course. The goals that were targeted become a reality on a consistent basis. Good things happen to good People; remember time is on your side.
Mitaku Oyasin (we are all related) Russell Means 1997
Biography of Russell Means:
Born on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in 1939, Russell Means has dedicated his life to American Indian activism and constitutional rights for over three decades. He is widely regarded as the most influential Indian activist and political leader of the later part of the twentieth and into the twenty – first century. A few of the many “first” and accomplishments which can be attributed to Russell Means include the following:
1970 – Means became the first National Director of the American Indian Movement after founding a branch of AIM in Cleveland.
1970 – The siege of Mt. Rushmore, which catapulted Means to national attention and focused the media on the modern Indian rights movement.
1970 – Led the Thanksgiving Day demonstration at Plymouth Rock in which over 200 Indians seized the Mayflower, painted Plymouth Rock red and observed a national day of mourning.
1972 – Participated in the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Headquarters in Washington D.C. during the Nixon Administration.
1973 – Directed the legendary siege of Wounded Knee, the most famous Indian insurrection of the twentieth century.
1974 – 76 Hounded by the FBI, the federal government and various state governments for his activism, Means represented himself in twelve criminal trials and won acquittal in each case.
1974 – All the Elders of the Lakotah Sioux Nation, at the 1st International Indian treaty Conference unanimously selected Russell Means as permanent trustee of the International Indian Treaty Council. Russell was further charged with the responsibility of establishing an office at or near the United Nations, in New York City and to oversee all business conducted by that office.
1977 – Assisted in creating the First International Conference pertaining to the sovereign rights of North, Central and South American Indians, which was sponsored by the United Nations in Geneva.
1977 – University Lecture tour of Switzerland.
1978 – Participated in the “Longest walk” in which American Indians walked across the United States from San Francisco to Washington D.C. creating the largest, single-day, peaceful demonstration in Washington D.C. up to that time. As a result, the demonstration succeeded in blocking all anti – Indian legislation in Congress.
1979 – Served one year of a four-year prison sentence in the South Dakota State Prison at Sioux Falls before he was released on parole. The charge was “Riot to Obstruct Justice” following the police riot at the Sioux Falls courthouse. The law under which he was convicted was repealed as unconstitutionally vague BEFORE his sentencing. Pardoned by South Dakota Governor in 2003.
1980 – Only convict in history to work for a U.S. Senator while serving time. He worked principally on water rights in the State of South Dakota. While on work release Russell held a press conference calling for the Cowboys and Indians to join forces in their respected struggles to keep their lands and their rights. Subsequently, agreed to the formation of the Black Hills Alliance. Through this alliance they fought against President Carter’s plan to turn the nearby five-state area into a national sacrifice area. Also, the Black Hills Alliance lobbied successfully, the SD State Legislature to call for a moratorium on all energy development in the Black Hills.
1981 – Founded Yellow Thunder Camp, a spiritual youth camp in the Black Hills. Means lived there for eight seasons, along with Indians and Whites, in the spirit of returning his people to the Black Hills, the Lakotah Nation’s Holy Land.
1982 – Founded KILI radio station on the Pine Ridge reservation, the first radio station owned and operated by American Indians.
1983 – Attended the United Nations Conference on freezing nuclear development in the world at Prague, Czechoslovakia. Gave two major addresses concerning “Religion and Nuclear Weapons” and the “International Trade Unions and Nuclear Development”.
1985 – At Pine Ridge, led the building of the first independent health clinic on any Indian reservation.
1985 – Russell Means was invited to participate in the first Peace Conference held between the Indians and the Sandinistas of Nicaragua held at the Presidential Palace in Bogotá, Columbia.
1985 – Attended an International Ecumenical conference on Religion held in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, South Korea where he gave the closing address.
1986 – Means went with a group of North American Indians and one newsman to the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua at the invitation of the Miskito, Sumu and Rama Indians to investigate and document Sandinista atrocities against the Miskito Indians.
1987 – University Lecture tour of Spain.
1988 – Means is the first American Indian to run for the office of the Presidency of the United states. A major constituency of the Libertarian Party (the third largest in the U.S) drafted Means to seek the party’s nomination for President in the 1988 elections.
1989 – Spoke before the Basque National Legislature and met with the Mayor of San Sebastian in an attempt to stop the Spain/U.S.A. joint venture in building and sailing three replicas ships of Columbus’ voyage to a hemisphere inhabited by American Indians!
1990 – Visited Aotarora aka New Zealand to speak at the University of Auckland an tour with the Maori people and exchange information concerning their land struggles, international struggles for treaty rights and a comprehensive visit to their total immersion educational system.
In addition to Means’ career as an activist he is also a successful producer and Hollywood actor:
1990 – Special Correspondent for The first Jesse Jackson TV Show.
1991 – Founded multi-media production company, T.R.E.A.T.Y. Productions.
1992 – Starred at the title character, Chingachgook, in The Last of the Mohicans.
1992 – Starred as the ghost of Jim Thorpe in Windrunner.
1992 – Means and the Colorado AIM led a peaceful coalition that stopped the Columbus Day parade in Denver which was to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of “Columbus discover of America.”
1993 – Starred in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.
1993 – Hosted HBO Documentary Paha Sapa.
1993 – Featured in mystery game CD-ROM Under A Killing Moon.
1993 – Release of Means’ debut album Electric Warrior on SOAR Records.
1993 – Founded T.R.E.A.T.Y. Total Immersion Educational Endowment Fund as Chairman.
1994 – Starred as Chief in John Candy’s comedy Wagons East.
1995 – Co-wrote the screen play Wounded Knee, 1973 with Bayard Johnson.
1995 – Starred as Sitting Bull in the CBS mini-series Buffalo Girls.
1995 – Provided the voice for Chief Powhatan in Disney’s animated feature Pocahontas.
1995 – Special Appearance as Arrow Head in Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Pathfinder.
1995 – Wrote Where White Men Fear to Tread, The Autobiography of Russell Means, with Marvin J.Wolf published by St. Martin’s Press October 1995.
1996 – Founded The American Indian Music Company.
1996 – Release of Means’ second album The Radical on the American Indian Music Co. label.
1996 – Starred as Mudjekeewis in The Song of Hiawatha.
1996 – Guest Appearance on Walker, Texas Ranger.
1996 – Guest Appearance on Touched By An Angel.
1996 – Co-wrote the script The Longest War with Bayard Johnson.
1996 – Participated with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland on promoting the rights of indigenous peoples throughout the world through a document presented to the Commission entitled “Declaration of Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples”.
1997 – Began serving on the Advisory Board of the Race Relations Institute.
1997 – Guest Appearance on Profiler.
1997 – Starred as Washakie in Wind River.
1998 – 1st Art Show of original paintings by Russell Means in conjunction with Gines Serran-Pagan in Santa Monica, CA.
1998 – Guest Appearance on Nash Bridges (two episodes).
1998 – Co-starred in Black Cat Run HBO, an original movie.
1998 – Co-wrote the screen play Rising from the Ashes with Bayard Johnson.
1999 – Narrator PBS Documentary Keeping the Spirit Alive.
1999 – The Russell Means Commentary (West coast Cable).
1999 – Guest on Politically Incorrect.
1999 – Guest on the Roseanne Show.
1999 – Billy Two Feathers in Thomas and the Magic Rail Road.
1999 – Participated in Ecuador’s 1st Indigenous Conference on Constitutional Rights and was responsible for funding to maintain the Indigenous Peoples land base and the natural resources of their homeland surrounding the headwaters of the Amazon.
1999 – First Amendment Rights protest and arrest at white Clay, NE, protesting liquor store and illegal operations on the border of the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian reservation.
2000 – 2nd Art Show of original paintings by Russell Means, Southampton, NY.
2000 – Protest of Columbus Day Parade and arrested in Denver, CO while exercising First Amendment Right against Hate Speech.
2000 – Board Member of the Natural Spirit Foundation, that funds American Indian self help and cultural projects in Indian Country.
2000 – Visited and ongoing work relationship with the Chamoru People of Guam regarding “Vote against Statehood”, “Vote for Independence”.
2000 – Visited and worked with Kanaka Maoli, the indigenous Hawaiians and their struggles to achieve Independent Nation status.
2001 – Co-starred as Joe in Cowboy Up.
2001 – Guest Appearance on Family Law.
2001 – Starred as Chief in 29 Palms.
2002 – Founded The Independent Coalition party in New Mexico.
2002 – Exploratory Campaign for Governor State of New Mexico.
2002 – Candidate for President of the Oglala Lakotah Sioux Nation.
2003 – Received Pardon from South Dakota Governor for a 1974 Felony offense of Public Peace-Riot.
2003 – Cameo appearance in feature film The Last Shot.
2003 – Co-writing Matriarchy, Beauty and Balance to be published 2007.
2003 – Russell Means‘ Indian Killer series w/narratives, Bergamot Station Art Show, Santa Monica, CA.
2004 – Guest Appearance on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.
2004 – Starred as Bud in feature film Black Cloud.
2004 – Doctorate Degree in Indigenous Studies – Sinte Gleska University.
2005 – Senior Law Partner – Red Cloud Law Firm.
2005 – Lecture tour Italy.
2005 – Co-starred as Grandpa in the feature film Unearthed.
2005 – Co-wrote Wounded Knee 1973 to be published 2007.
2005 – Addressed an audience of 1.4 million at “The Millions More Movement”, Washington D.C.
2005 – Starred at the title character, Pathfinder in feature film Pathfinder.
2006 – Co-starred as Dace in feature film Intervention.
2006 – Lecture tour Australia.
2006 – Dedication of the First Total Immersion School in the Lakota Culture -Pine Ridge, SD.
2007 – Participated in a 7 continent International Art Show-Paris, France.
2007 – Led Lakotah Freedom-unilateral withdrawal of Treaties and agreements with the U.S.
The United States is one big reservation, and we are all in it. So says Russell Means, legendary actor, political activist and leader for the American Indian Movement. Means led the 1972 seizure of the Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., and in 1973 led a standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a response to the massacre of at least 150 Lakotah men, women, and children by the U.S. Seventh Cavalry at a camp near Wounded Knee Creek.
American Indian Russell Means gives an eye-opening 90 minute interview in which he explains how Native Americans and Americans in general are all imprisoned within one huge reservation. Means is a leader for the Republic of Lakotah, a movement that has declared its independence from the United States and refused to recognize the authority of presidents or governments, withdrawing from treaties it made with the federal government and defining its borders which cover thousands of square miles in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana.
Means explains how American Indians have been enslaved within de facto prisoner of war camps as a result of the federal government's restriction of their food supply and the application of colonial tactics, a process that has now also been inflicted on the United States as a whole which has turned into, "one huge Indian reservation," according to Means.
Means warns that Americans have lost the ability of critical though, and with each successive generation become more irresponsible and as a consequence less free, disregarding a near-perfect document, the Constitution, which was derived from Indian law. Means chronicles the loss of freedom from the 1840's onwards, which marked the birth of the corporation, to Lincoln's declaration of martial law, to the latter part of the 19th century and into the 20th when Congress "started giving banks the right to rule," and private banking interests began printing the money.
Russell Means Speaks Out (part 1) w/ Editor Hadassah Broscova Carpe Articulum Magazine
Russell Means part 2 HAS CANCER w/ Carpe Articulum Magazine Aug 2011
A powerful interview covering his life's work, world views, and dying of cancer... a deep introspective and intimate journey through what makes Russell Means tick. He is a powerful, pivotal figure and one of the only international spokespersons championing the plight of the Native American Indian and other indigenous tribes worldwide. To lose him would be a devastating blow as he has given his life to raising awareness and fighting for the rights of oppressed persons everywhere, calling specific attention to over 155 years of broken treaties with the Native American Peoples. To help with his cancer treatments, please donate via www.RussellMeans.com His beautiful wife Pearl Means is a pillar of strength in these difficult times. This is a rare privilege to see her speaking openly. We hope this is not the last interview he is able to give. They have given him three months to live. May all health return to him soon... For more information on the International Literary Magazine, Carpe Articulum Literary Review, Journal of the Stars, or the Editor-in-Chief Hadassah Broscova, see www.CarpeArticulum.com This video copyright (c) 2011 Carpe Articulum Foundation/Carpe Articulum LIterary Review
Thank you 'Little Crow' very impressive, he has a loving, strong face and I remember seeing him in 'Last of the Mohicans'. Do you know anything about the actor who played his son in that film. I pray he will overcome the cancer that has stricken him.
His name is Eric Schweig. His bio is no different than so many others that were taken from their homes as children and placed in boarding homes where the children were physically and mentally abused and adopted by whites. I will place his story here later today, along with updated medical info on Russell Means.
Here is Eric Schweig's bio and gallery web sites.....
I'm praying for Russel. What a Wonderful Man.
Oh Patty, thank you for reminding me, I have updates which I was suppose to post and forgot. Here it comes!!!
Russell Means medical updates....
On the Tuesday, October 18 edition of Infowars Nightly News, Aaron Dykes sits in for Alex Jones while he is on assignment.
Oglala Sioux activist and libertarian Russell Means talks with Aaron about how he is on the road to cancer recovery without the poisonous intervention of big pharma and the corporate medical complex. Means also talks about how a Ron Paul victory in 2012 will be good for America.
Native Sun News: Activist Russell Means hospitalized in Arizona
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Means hospitalized in Arizona
By Native Sun News Staff
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Russell Means has been admitted to a hospital in his seasonal hometown of Scottsdale.
The American Indian Movement co-founder and actor was hospitalized last week, when he announced that his esophageal cancer was no longer in remission. The 72-year-old said he learned he has “new cancer spots” on Aug. 20.
Prior to the Aug. 20 diagnosis, Means, who is Oglala Lakota, had kept his throat cancer at bay since December of last year, saying at the time that he was cancer-free.
Initially diagnosed with esophageal cancer during the summer of 2011, he opted to forgo the conventional Western medicine methods of chemotherapy and radiation to treat his cancer, and instead chose to fight it using methods more attuned to his Lakota spirituality, including prayer.
Sources close to Means and his wife, Pearl, who is originally from the Scottsdale area, say his lungs are failing and he is in “terminal condition.”
Means, whose birthday is Nov. 10, isn’t expected to live much longer and doctors say they didn’t expect him to have survived this long.
In an email message to Native Sun News last week, he said he has “fantastic medical teams utilizing both alternative and western applications” to aggressively treat his throat cancer, and “we are working toward a good solid program that will enable me to come home to my ranch on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation within the next few weeks.”
He has a ranch near Porcupine, where family members are seeking to have him flown.
All but one of Means’ children has traveled to the Scottsdale hospital to be near him, according to sources.
“I am sorry I am not available for comments as I need all of my energy to fight for my life once again,” said Means in closing his email to NSN last week. “I love you and look forward to regaining my life. May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones.”
There is no death, only a change of worlds. - Chief Seattle
Russell Means, Oglala Sioux activist, passes after cancer battle
Monday, October 22, 2012
Longtime activist and actor Russell Means, Oglala Lakota, speaks at the Dakota Conference on the campus of Augustana College in Sioux Falls April 27. The theme for this year’s conference was “Wounded Knee 1973: Forty Years Later.” After declaring himself cancer-free in December, Means recently announced for a second time in just over a year that he is battling cancer. PHOTO COURTESY/STEW MAGNUSON
Russell Means, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who rose to prominence with the American Indian Movement, died today. He was 72.
Means was battling a recurrence of cancer. He died at his home on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
Means was an activist on mascots, sovereignty, justice, discrimination and other issues affecting Indian Country. He became nationally known during the AIM occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota 1973.
After feuding with other AIM leaders, he broke from the group in the 1980s. He went on to star in more than 30 films and television productions. He published his autobiography, Where White Men Fear to Tread in 1995.
Means always stirred controversy for his views. He famously refused to submit to the jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation for a domestic violence incident.
He ran for president of his tribe more than once but never captured the seat. He operated education programs at Pine Ridge and more recently led a movement to separate the Lakotah people from the United States.