Bury my heart at Wounded Knee
October 22, 2012 2:21 PM   Subscribe

Russell Means, a leader of the American Indian Movement, has died.

in a 1973 protest covered by the national news media for months, he led hundreds of Indians and white sympathizers in an occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., site of the 1890 massacre of some 350 Lakota men, women and children in the last major conflict of the American Indian wars. The protesters demanded strict federal adherence to old Indian treaties, and an end to what they called corrupt tribal governments.

In the ensuing 71-day standoff with federal agents, thousands of shots were fired, two Indians were killed and an agent was paralyzed. Mr. Means and his fellow protest leader Dennis Banks were charged with assault, larceny and conspiracy. But after a long federal trial in Minnesota in 1974, with the defense raising current and historic Indian grievances, the case was dismissed by a judge for prosecutorial misconduct.
posted by By The Grace of God (47 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Full family statement. Wikipedia.

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posted by By The Grace of God at 2:24 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by tykky at 2:25 PM on October 22, 2012


'I Am Not A Leader': Russell Means' 1980 Mother Jones Cover Story
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:27 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Godspeed, sir.

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posted by magstheaxe at 2:27 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by spitbull at 2:30 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by Lynsey at 2:33 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by brundlefly at 2:36 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by elizardbits at 2:36 PM on October 22, 2012


I'll save my "." for Anna Mae Aquash.
posted by docgonzo at 2:40 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by djseafood at 2:41 PM on October 22, 2012


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My Mom used to say 'He is one of ours'
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:43 PM on October 22, 2012


I remember him from "Under a Killing Moon".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:56 PM on October 22, 2012


Shook his hand one in Albuquerque. He was absolutely intimidating and inspiring in person.

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posted by lumpenprole at 3:07 PM on October 22, 2012


His book, "Where White Men Fear to Tread," was a good read.
posted by shoesietart at 3:07 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


He was incredible in Last of the Mohicans.
posted by docpops at 3:07 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll save my "." for Anna Mae Aquash.

Did you know your keyboard can supply an unlimited number of dots? Stunning but true!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:15 PM on October 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always respected his work in AIM, and think he should be an inspiration for us all. In the late 90s he was oft associated with the Libertarian movement/party, and that's quite disappointing to me. I understood his point that Soviet "Communism" led to just as much pollution if not more than US-Style Capitalism. And I don't know if his words were twisted by Libertarian ideologues or whether he really did hold Libertarianism dearly... It's certainly something sad to me.

But he was a person who said things like: "fuck hand me downs - we want clothing donated that isn't second rate - we are not second class citizens, we demand respect". A giant fucking dot for a great hero rising up against colonial power in our own backyard.
posted by symbioid at 3:16 PM on October 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


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posted by readery at 3:17 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by Minus215Cee at 3:17 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by homunculus at 3:20 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by skycrashesdown at 3:20 PM on October 22, 2012


‘Last of the Mohicans’ Director Michael Mann Recalls Russell Means
posted by homunculus at 3:21 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by anansi at 3:21 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by univac at 3:22 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by lord_wolf at 3:41 PM on October 22, 2012


docgonzo: I'll save my "." for Anna Mae Aquash.

five fresh fish: Did you know your keyboard can supply an unlimited number of dots? Stunning but true!

I believe docgonzo is suggesting that, as Aquash's family suspects that AIM leadership ordered Aquash murdered as a suspected FBI informant, Means is not universally mourned.
posted by gingerest at 3:43 PM on October 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:52 PM on October 22, 2012


Docgonzo, gingerest, how much evidence supports that theory?
posted by BlueHorse at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by cazoo at 5:09 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by kamikazegopher at 5:11 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by Purposeful Grimace at 5:28 PM on October 22, 2012


I wish that AIM had been a peaceful movement but having grown up in the Dakotas I understand their rage and frustration. R.I.P. to a man who right or wrong, brooked no bullshit for his cause. And extra props for standing toe to toe with Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans.
posted by Ber at 6:20 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by Unioncat at 6:29 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by Malice at 7:28 PM on October 22, 2012


good bye.
posted by nj_subgenius at 7:52 PM on October 22, 2012


BlueHorse: I have no idea. I was just countering an apparent misinterpretation of docgonzo's remark.
posted by gingerest at 7:58 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by anadem at 7:59 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by mule98J at 9:57 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by Sys Rq at 10:29 PM on October 22, 2012


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posted by fraula at 12:47 AM on October 23, 2012


I had thought that it was associates of the U.S. federal government who murdered Annie Mae Aquash and that the FBI cut off her hands for fingerprinting purposes. I understand that the Lakota have a belief that a warrior cannot come back from the dead to fight if dismembered but the cold heartedness in the act of cutting off a dead person's hands I can easily believe to be the work of U.S. federal agents.
posted by millardsarpy at 3:01 AM on October 23, 2012


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posted by zombieflanders at 5:49 AM on October 23, 2012


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posted by Busithoth at 7:08 AM on October 23, 2012


He was baptized Oyate Wacinyapin, which means "works for the people"

And so he did what he encouraged: "Teach them self-respect." By example.

Title of his last book: "If You've Forgotten the Names of the Clouds, You've Lost Your Way". Aho mitakuye oyasin.
posted by Twang at 9:22 AM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


We Shall Remain is an excellent multi-part documentary from the PBS American Experience series. We would do better as a nation to have this shown as part of any American History classes in our schools. One episode covers the armed occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973, and was eye opening for me. It may still be available on Netflix instant as well.

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posted by Capricorn13 at 10:09 AM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by bjgeiger at 11:55 AM on October 24, 2012


Indian Country Reacts to Russell Means Passing
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:54 AM on October 27, 2012


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