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AIM Statement on The Passing of Russell Means

October 23, 2012

The American Indian Movement Grand Governing Council would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Russell Means…

During the Longest Walk I remember him walking up the hill by himself in the park across from where the tipis were, and my sister and I were walking down the hill. He had a huge smile, and greeted us as only another Native person would, in that teasing kind of way, and it made us feel good, and also made us laugh.

There is no mistaking that Russell holds a historical place in the Native resistance movement to the colonial dominance of our people. He will be remembered for a long time. The impact that he made as a part of a whole generation of resistance was unparalleled in the 1970’s. No one captured the attention of the world to the injustices of Native people until these men and women of the American Indian Movement stood up and demanded attention, and justice.

In the 1970’s, we started to feel different about being “Indian.” Our parents felt it too. There was something going on, and it was good. Today you see “Native Pride” all over the place, on clothing, music and what not, but it doesn’t mean the same as what we felt back then. We were right in the middle of a historic explosion. Everyone who was there knows this feeling, and Russell was a part of that. So it’s sad that he is leaving now.

The attention brought our issues to center stage, but also brought disruption. As other resistance movements have experienced, AIM also experienced the police, but that’s another story.

We as Native people respect our traditions, and respect the passing of one of our people. During this time we can see beyond the ordinary.

In the newspapers and on the Internet this week there is list after list of the accomplishments of Russell Means. No one can say that Russell lived a quiet life.

Go in peace, Russell Means.

Janice Denny

October 22, 2012…Porcupine, SD USA

Honoring the Life of Russell Means

The family of Russell Means invites you to join us in “Honoring the Life of Russell Means”. The honoring will highlight his life, leadership and the eternal fire that he re-ignited throughout Indian Country.

October 24, 2012, begins at 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. MST, at Little Wound High School Gymnasium in Kyle, South Dakota USA, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Russell Means, a self-described “Oglala Freedom Fighter”, began his journey to the spirit world at 4:44 am, with the Morning Star, at his home and ranch in Porcupine.

This Honoring will be the first of four opportunities for the people to honor his life. The next three Honorings are tentatively scheduled as follows: 2nd Honoring at Wounded Knee ’73 Occupation Memorial (Feb 2013); 3rd Honoring at Wind Cave State Park, SD (June 2013); 4th Honoring on Russell’s birthday (Nov 10, 2013) at location to be determined.