Good Morning (or afternoon or evening)!
This is my very first blog on the new site. I hope that you all are loving the new site. I think the new look is downright genius.
Well, today we lost a true hero of the American Indian Movement and to the Lakotah Republic. Russell Means passed away today (Monday) in the very early hours of the morning.
Although I didn’t know Russell Means personally, I had once talked with him on talk radio back in 2007 when he had joined forces with others of the Lakotah Tribe to establish The Republic of Lakotah. Off to the left here is a early photo of him — in his younger days.
Russell Means was a very good man. After reading the terrible LA Times story of his departure from his body, I found myself a little hot under the collar. They probably used the ugliest photo they could find and centered in on his days the American Indian Movement from back in the 70′s. The article carried nothing of all his accomplishments, including his part in establishing The Republic of Lakotah, separating itself from the current government and declaring itself free, and offering freedom to anyone who would come and reach for it.
So let me tell you what I know from reading a bit about his life, and from listening to Russell on his site www.russellmeansfreedom.com. He was born on the Pineridge Reservation, but his family moved to the San Francisco area when he was young. Russell gained fame when he joined the American Indian Movement, which was a movement to try to establish by force the sovereignty of the Lakotah Nation. It was always his intention to bring his people back to the freedom they had once enjoyed.
I have often gone to Russell’s website to listen to him talk about the Lakotah and their way of life and bringing freedom back to his people. When he and his friends established the Republic of Lakotah, he, however, invited people of all races to come to the Republic and enjoy the freedom that keeps getting less and less in our modern society. It was his dream — and those of his friends — to establish a place — a haven, if you will — where anyone could come and enjoy a life filled with freedom.
So again, although I didn’t know him personally, let me tell you the things I know about this very good man. Back in the 1970′s — perhaps the latter part of — Russell helped members of my church set up a drug rehab center, there in the heart of the Indians Nations in Oklahoma — Narconon. He didn’t hesitate to help when help was needed.
Russell, in the picture to the left, is the one talking — again in his younger days. I believe the picture was taken in the 1970′s during the stand-off on the Lakotah Reservation. Now, here’s a little known fact: In the late 80′s Russell had been one of the candidates nominated to run for President on the Libertarian Ticket. He lost to Ron Paul, but it had been a close race. Imagine having a President who was American Indian. Seems fitting somehow.
And of course, how can we ever forget him in the role of the father — I can’t remember the name right now — in THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. He might have been the elder of the threesome that starred in that movie, but he was still very handsome, by far.
I believe that he was also the voice of the chief in Disney’s Pocahontas, as well.
He was a writer, a politican, an actor and a liberator. He was not only a very talented man and an artist and activist, he was a very good man, and he will be missed. I will miss him. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Russell’s website to learn more about the American Indian way of life. Thanks to the internet and the ability of almost anyone to post videos, I have come to feel as if I knew him.
I hope you will join me in wishing him well on his journey to join his ancestors. I sincerely believe that our loss is someone else’s gain in another place and another time. I am so thankful, Russell, that you lived. Others are alive today because you lived. And others are living better lives today because you lived and worked to improve their lot. Thank you for all that you did.
Good-bye Russell Means – a true American hero.
On the Blackfeet Reservations, Kay is here with her husband, Paul.