Russell Means is the latest South Dakota legend to die this year.
Means entered “the Great Mystery,” as he referred to it, Monday morning. His death adds to the toll this year that includes George McGovern, who died Sunday, Bill Janklow and Jim Abdnor.
Here is a statement from the Means’ family:
October 22, 2012
Hello our relatives. Our dad and husband, now walks among our ancestors. He began his journey to the spirit world at 4:44 am, with the Morning Star, at his home and ranch in Porcupine. There will be four opportunities for the people to honor his life to be announced at a later date. Thank you for your prayers and continued support. We love you. As our dad and husband would always say, “May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones.”
The wife and children of Russell Means
444 Crazy Horse Drive
Pahin Sinte, Republic of Lakotah
I wrote a long profile on Means a few years ago when I was working in Rapid City. He was a fascinating figure, a rebel who loved the Oakland Raiders, hated Mount Rushmore and appeared in movies and TV shows.
He was, like his old friend Bill Janklow, much, much larger than life. Means will go down in the history books as a major figure who stood up for American Indians at a time when they needed a champion.
Means was charming, controversial, a man who loved the spotlight, accepted risks and danger and wrote a great autobiography. I was surprised by his sense of humor and his enjoyment of everyday life while also striving to make dramatic changes in the world.
It’s being said today he may have been the most famous Indian — Russell despised the term “Native American” — since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. All three men were Lakota leaders, and I am sure Means would welcome the high ranking and the esteemed company.
Explore the Great Mystery, Russell Means.