Alternative Radio on 11/20/12
Russell Means speaks on "Knowing Who You Are: Lessons from Native America"
Russell Means, an Oglala Dakota and a prominent voice in the continuing struggle for indigenous rights, was a founding member of AIM and one of its leading spokespersons. He was Chief Executive Officer of the American Indian Anti-Defamation Council, an organization which monitors anti-Indian racism in the media and politics, and has organized and lectured throughout the world . Russell Means died on October 22nd at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72.
For years the indigenous peoples of the U.S., after having been dispersed and decimated and relegated to reservations, were reduced to caricatures. We all knew Indians and their culture. There was the familiar medicineman, the trading post, Geronimo and Crazy Horse, papooses and squaws, tepees and tomahawks, war dances and war parties. Tonto was the epitome of faithfulness and subservience. The formation and rise of the AmericanIndian Movement, AIM, in the early 1970s did much to break down conventional stereotypes. AIM, through its actions at Wounded Knee, Alcatraz, Mount Rushmore and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, demonstrated that Native Americans could and would fight back against racism and repression.