Means, Russell

Means, Russell, 1939–2012, Native American activist, b. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.Dak. An Oglala Sioux, he grew up near San Francisco, and attended four colleges but never graduated. He joined the American Indian Movement, a civil-rights group, and became (1970) its national director. Means organized a number of events aimed at drawing public attention to the inequities suffered by Native Americans and to the abrogation of their treaty rights. The best known of these was the 71-day armed occupation of Wounded Knee, S.Dak., in 1973. He later had a brief film acting career, playing Chingachgook in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), appearing in Natural Born Killers (1994), and voicing a character in Pocahontas (1995).

See his memoir, Where White Men Fear to Tread (with M. J. Wolf, 1995).

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