Russell Means, Indian activist, actor, dies at 72

From the Associated Press

October 22, 2012, 7:15 a.m.

Russell Means, a former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee, reveled in stirring up attention and appeared in several Hollywood films, has died. He was 72.

Means died early Monday at his ranch in in Porcupine, S.D., Oglala Sioux Tribe spokeswoman Donna Solomon said.

Means, a Wanblee native who grew up in the San Francisco area, announced in August 2011 that he had developed inoperable throat cancer. He told The Associated Press he was forgoing mainstream medical treatments in favor of traditional American Indian remedies and alternative treatments away from his home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Means was an early leader of AIM and led its armed occupation of the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, a 71-day siege that included several gunbattles with federal officers. He was often embroiled in controversy, partly because of AIM’s alleged involvement in the 1975 slaying of Annie Mae Aquash. But Means was also known for his role in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans” and had run unsuccessfully for the Libertarian nomination for president in 1988.

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  1. totally devistated by this loss. I remember he came to Cleveland to show support for the Native American
    community in cleveland who were protesting against the Cleveland baseball team. He was very tall and very nice man, I told him how much I thanked him for all the work he had done for Indian country and also for his terrific autobiograpahy where white men fear to tread the autobiography of Russell Means by Russell Means with Martin J.Wolfe. which is available via your local libary and the libaryfor the blind. I even told him that I Loved his appearance on the CBS show touch by an angel and that I was Native American African American and White and He respected that. The greatest legacy that I will thank him for was the fact he setted up a Naitve American Section at the Cleveland Public Libary history section sixth floor, because there was no section that was there to carry books about Native Americans , and now there is and it carries books written and about Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and First Nations Canadians. that section alone has benfited me more than I can say. My deepest prayers go to his familyand his friends. He did so much for Indian Country, and jit has paid off more than anyone couldl imagine.

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