Life of Russell Means to be honored in Denver


The life of one of Native America's greatest heroes, Lakota warrior Russell Means, will be celebrated this week with a days' long tribute in Denver, Colorado. On Nov. 7-10, Russell's family, friends and supporters will host "Mitakuye Oyasin (we are all related) - Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Russell Means," with a series of programs and panels to honor the huge contributions he made to both the Indian and non-Indian world.

The commemoration is being organized by the Denver-based Russell Means Honoring Committee. The celebration will honor the life of Russell Means as a political, cultural and visionary American Indian leader. Russell was a Oglala Lakota warrior for the people, a momentous leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and a founder of the Republic of Lakotah. He has been described as "the most famous American Indian of the 20th century." Acclaimed Standing Rock Sioux author and scholar Vine Deloria, Jr. has said of Means, "We should cherish this man as one of our greatest people."                                                     Russell made his journey to the spirit world on Oct. 22, 2012, at his home in Porcupine, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Aside from his vast impact on the political scene, Means was an author, a spiritual leader of the Sun Dance, a gifted artist, a world known actor and a talented musician. He could be said to be truly an American Indian "Renaissance figure."

But his passion, of course, was politics and fighting for the rights of Native American people. Russell will be forever honored for his tireless, fearless and frontline advocacy of the American Indian struggle for liberation and political, social and economic equality. He was an Indigenous revolutionary. 

The events during the commemoration will include :

1) An all-day political symposium at the University of Colorado in downtown Denver that will discuss the effect of Russell's life and works;

2) A public honoring of Russell and rally featuring guest speakers;

3) A gala fundraising dinner with special guest entertainment to help establish the Russell Means Library on the Pine Ridge Reservation to continue his work of educating the public on the treaty rights of Indigenous people; 

4) A film exhibition of the movies in which Russell acted. This program will include panels of fellow actors, directors and academic and cultural speakers;    

5) An art exhibition featuring some of Russell's most prominent paintings and etchings. This will also include a signing by Russell's wife, Pearl, of his last book, "If You've Forgotten the Names of the Clouds, You've Lost Your Way."

The committee anticipates that official representatives of various tribes and tribal members will be in attendance as well as international and national figures who will participate in the panels, give speeches or provide artistic presentations.

Many hope that this commemoration can also provide a jumping off point to continue the struggle that Russell so fearlessly fought. He left us too soon.

Photo: Family and friends of Russell Means sing as they ride horses down the Big Foot Trail during the honoring service procession for Means in Kyle, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. on Oct. 24, 2012. Means passed away at his home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72. Aaron Rosenblatt /Rapid City Journal/AP


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  • I will miss this man. Hope to meet you in the next world Mr. Means it just has to be better than this one. Thank you.

    Posted by gary david, 11/23/2013 8:25pm (2 years ago)

  • Russell Means was a leader of the national liberation struggle in the country called the U.S. and globally. The struggle continues.

    Posted by Darrell Rankin, 11/21/2013 3:27pm (2 years ago)

  • will you be recording or streamlining the event?? please post info

    Posted by Orange, 11/06/2013 11:29pm (2 years ago)

  • This man should be honored greatly and it is very sad that the Native Americans that were here on all of this land have to fight for what is rightfully theirs. I hope President Obama recieves an invitation to honor this man and the Tribes, just as it should be, he should help fix these political problems. I SEND UP PRAYERS FOR HIM TO GREAT SPIRIT! AHO!

    Posted by Gina Bongiovani, 11/06/2013 8:36pm (2 years ago)

  • A wonderful human being, and an inspiration to any open minded person. His truth could be difficult for those who like things as they are, and they are wrong. He will be back, he was nowhere near finished.

    Posted by W. Wynne Zaugg, 11/06/2013 4:37pm (2 years ago)

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