Skip to comments.Russell Means, Indian activist, "Last of the Mohicans' co-star, dies at 72
Posted on 10/22/2012 8:42:05 AM PDT by Borges
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- 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.
AIM was founded in the late 1960s to protest the U.S. government's treatment of Native Americans and demand the government honor its treaties with Indian tribes. Means told the AP in 2011 that before AIM, there had been no advocate on a national or international scale for American Indians, and that Native Americans were ashamed of their heritage.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
A legend in his own eyes and the world doesn’t change one whit.
Rest in peace Russell Means
Something happened to him after he got in with the Dennis Banks / A.I.M. / ultraleft crowd. He lost some of that good heart, but not all of it. They never could turn him into the same type of America hating scum which they were.
I'm glad I knew Russell before he got in with that crowd.
Note to self...when confronted by a health crisis do *not* seek help from an OsamaObamaCare death panel or embrace traditional American Indian remedies.
I’m hoping that Obama will be the last of the Bohicans after this election.
I sure liked him in the role of Uncas. Perhaps that was a glimpse of the non-political man?
Despite the other comments, I would add that others who knew him in the early years agree with you. I know a man who spent several years in the early 70s teaching sports programs on the reservation would would be the first to do so. It is possible for good people to engage in bad politics - Sen. George McGovern was another example. It is sad when radical elements turn either side into a hate-fest, and worth recognizing those who manage to some extent to remain above that level. RIP.
***...a former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead the 1973 uprising at Wounded Knee,****
I remember those days. After they took over and burned the church at Wounded Knee, lots of bearded hippies joined them for a while.
One of the Indians was photographed holding an AK-47 years before they were allowed to be imported in the US.
The problems spread clear to Farmington NM where there was lots of trouble when the Fairchild Plant at Gallup had a layoff and the Indians then occupied the building in protest. Some local Navajos were oppposed to the outsider Indians coming into the area causing problems while others joined in the takeover. There was a riot that year 1974 during a parade in downtown Farmington caused by the Indians.
The Oklahoma authorities stopped a possible take over of YALE, Oklahoma when they arrested several armed non local Indians who claimed they were only going elk hunting. Elke hunting in the middle of Oklahoma in the summer? I don’t think so as there were no elk within several hundred miles.
Many other areas also had Indian problems that year with several whites killed for no reason.
Will they bury his heart at Wounded Knee?..............
There were also the Indians who took over Alcatraz for awhile. That was interesting.
“Something happened to him after he got in with the Dennis Banks / A.I.M. / ultraleft crowd. “
That’s what ‘community organizers’ do...........
I always liked him. I did a pencil drawing of him and Dennis Banks from a photo in about ‘74. They were both in traditional dress and the only clue in the picture that they weren’t two Indians from the 19th century was a watch one of them was wearing. I called the drawing Means and Banks. (real original I know lol)
The evil Leftists are some of the BEST actors-—it is fact that they have to HIDE their plans—to kill millions and enslave the masses-—to get the adoring sycophants to vote for their ugly, nasty policies.
He was great as Uncas. I love that movie.
He actually played Chingachgook in Last of the Mohicans. And, I agree I thought he was very good.
Particularly, when he killed Magua in the final scene...
Thanks for the correction - too much data over the years. My mind is a two foot shelf trying to accommodate three and half feet of books.
That was an outstanding scene. Loved Wes Studi as Magua too. One of his best roles.
Thanks for the link. One of the best movies scenes ever! Wes Studi as Magua was awesome as well.
The evil Leftists are some of the BEST actors
Very often true. I was very fortunate to see Charlton Heston and Vanessa Redgrave in a live performance of ‘Macbeth’ as Lord and Lady Macbeth. It was the most powerful performance of anything I have ever seen. The synergy between the two as actors was white hot.
She is a perfect example of what you refer to. A consummate actress and an utter viper at the same time.
Russell Means was a REAL NATIVE AMERICAN -— unlike SQUAW SPEAKING BULL (aka Liz Warren)
He didn’t play Uncas. He played Chingachkook, the father. But that will always one of my favorite movies.
Well; ‘God speed’ Russel. ‘That said’; am wondering if he voted early. . .?
And the man is right. He did play Chingachgook.
That is one of my fav movies and fav scenes -thanks for posting it
Wes Studi is a great guy. I hired him as a voice narrator for a documentary I produced about 1812. We recorded it in Santa Fe, where he lives. I asked him to give us some “Magua” and the line about ‘killing his seed’ (or similar) and he happily obliged, and nailed it. He then pulled out his guitar and played some riff. Just two dudes eating sandwiches with Magua, and jamming out. Surreal.
Russell Means was a libertarian who despised the federal government and the government-loving Indians around him. He believed in freedom as much as any conservative in freeperland. Those of you who are spouting hate towards him are greatly misguided.
Voiceover people are an accommodating bunch. I once used Mel Blanc -- who worked for scale -- to deliver one line on a commercial job (bug's voice: "Hot Shot just kills me!").
I remarked that would've enjoyed listening to him do all the variations he delivered, just so we could get the one we wanted. He asked me what my children's names were.
Then, he called "roll tape" and proceeded to provide us with a full two minutes of dialogue from all his characters -- Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Woody Woodpecker, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, etc. -- all of it addressed to my children by name.
I've no idea whatever happened to the tape -- but I sure wish I'd maintained a "vault copy".
We had a nice talk. Russell was on a trade mission to Japan and seeking advice from people who might help him sell goods produced on the reservation to the Japanese. I opened up my business card file, selected a half dozen or so contacts which I thought might be able to help and introduced him to one in the neighborhood whom I thought would be most appropriate. His demeanor was more like the old Russell I had once known than politicized jerk created by Banks, Peltier and the A.I.M. I invited him for lunch, but he had but a short time in Japan and a hectic schedule to meet.
I like to think that he left this world more like the old Russell I knew. I think his role of Uncas was roughly the same time in his life, wasn't it? If so, then I think you were seeing the real Russell.
NOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo! Don’t tell me that you don’t have that tape!! That’s a great story, with a legend! That riff would be priceless!! Thanks for sharing that story - what a great memory that must be.
(I’m such a nerd, that I save the voice messages of celebrity level actors who’ve called me. I need to get those transferred...)
One of the my favorite movie scenes where the older Indian Chingachgook wasted the evil Magua via skilful means ...meaning an symmetric attack
Here is a Russell Means interview on how he messed with Michael Mann (the director) and other movie details Last of the Mohicans
Perfect music. Great fighting. The old man avenged and prevailed over the savage. The girl lept to her death. The best ten minutes in movie making...or one of the best
Michael Mann my favorite director. Thanks for posting
Russell was a step on the path of the American Indian traveling from the stone age into the modern world. Most of the world is still on that path.
” Wes Studi is a great guy. I hired him as a voice narrator for a documentary I produced about 1812.”
Oh come now. You and Wes couldn’t possibly be THAT old.