Russell Means

Russell Means: Bio

Russell Means was a Native American activist, actor, and author. He was born on November 10, 1939, in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, and was a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Means grew up in poverty and experienced discrimination and racism as a Native American. He became involved in activism at a young age and was a leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM), which fought for the rights of Native Americans.

During his lifetime, Means was arrested several times for his activism, including during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee. He was also involved in the Longest Walk, a cross-country protest march in 1978, and the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, D.C. in 1972. Means was also a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination in 1988.

Russell Means: Quotes

Russell Means

On Native American Rights

“We are not conquered until we have accepted that we are conquered.”

“The only possible opening for a statement of this kind is that I detest writing. The process itself epitomizes the European concept of ‘legitimate’ thinking; what is written has an importance that is denied the spoken. My culture, the Lakota culture, has an oral tradition, so I ordinarily reject writing. It is one of the white world’s ways of destroying the cultures of non-European peoples, the imposing of an abstraction over the spoken relationship of a people.”

On Activism

“If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem.”

“The American Indian is a special case deserving of special treatment.”

Russell Means: Movies

Means was also an actor and appeared in several films and television shows, including “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Natural Born Killers.” He was known for his powerful presence on screen and often played roles that reflected his activism and Native American heritage.

One of his most notable roles was in the 1992 film “Thunderheart,” in which he played a character based on his own experiences as an activist. The film tells the story of an FBI agent who investigates a murder on a Native American reservation and confronts corruption and injustice.

Russell Means: Legacy

Means passed away on October 22, 2012, at the age of 72. He left behind a legacy as a passionate and dedicated activist who fought for the rights of Native Americans. He was a powerful voice for his people and inspired many others to join the fight for justice and equality.

Means was also a talented actor and author who used his platform to raise awareness about the issues facing Native Americans. His work has had a lasting impact on the world and his legacy continues to inspire future generations.


Who is Russell Means?

Russell Means was an American actor, activist, and politician. He was a prominent figure in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and fought for Native American rights throughout his life.

What are some famous quotes by Russell Means?

Some of Russell Means’ most famous quotes include:

  • “The only way to change the system is to shut it down.”
  • “The white man knows how to make everything, but he does not know how to distribute it.”
  • “We are not conquered until the women’s hearts are on the ground.”

What movies did Russell Means appear in?

Russell Means appeared in several movies throughout his career, including:

  • The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
  • Natural Born Killers (1994)
  • Pathfinder (2007)

What is Russell Means’ legacy?

Russell Means’ legacy is that of a passionate and tireless advocate for Native American rights. He fought for the sovereignty and self-determination of Native American tribes, and his activism helped to bring attention to the injustices faced by indigenous peoples in the United States. His work continues to inspire and influence activists and advocates today.

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