I am writing this article on Russell Means, Lakotah native American [living legend], to give awareness of what a free-thinking individual is capable of. Whether you believe in what this Lakota living legend stands for is not the issue here. What is important to understand is that LIFE is important. Quality of Life is important. Being is important. Standing / Fighting to death if necessary for your Life and Beliefs is important.
We most likely are headed for conditions very soon which will try men’s hearts and souls. Those of us who have seen war, prison, or devastating disasters will most likely lead others to survival. The story of Russell Means is relevant in our time.
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 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.
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.
Means participated -together with his father- in the 1964 Alcatraz occupation, as [by Bureau of Indian Affairs Treaty] any abandoned prison property is to be given to Native American tribes, and the US was in violation of the Treaty. In 1968 at age 29, Means joined the American Indian Movement, where he rose to become a prominent leader.
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 delvers is consistent with the philosophy he lives by, which states:
“The Universe which controls all life, has a female and male balance that is 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
Native American legend, Russell Means speaks in a recent interview of his first-hand experience while fighting and winning his battle with cancer over the last year.
“The key to happiness is freedom and the key to freedom is courage” Thucydides (460-400 BC)