Longtime Indian activist Russell Means dies at 72
He also appeared in the 1994 film ‘‘Natural Born Killers,’’ voiced Chief Powhatan in the 1995 animated film ‘‘Pocahontas’’ and guest starred in 2004 on the HBO series ‘‘Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Means also ran unsuccessfully for the Libertarian nomination for president in 1988 and briefly served as a vice presidential candidate in 1984 on the ticket of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt.
Means always considered himself a Libertarian and couldn’t believe that anyone would want to call themselves a Republican or a Democrat.
‘‘It’s just unconscionable that America has become so stupid,’’ he said.
Means often refused interviews and verbally blasted journalists who showed up to cover his public appearances. Instead, he chose to speak to his fan base through YouTube videos and blog posts on his website.
Means recounted his life in the book ‘‘Where White Men Fear to Tread.’’ He said he pulled no punches in the autobiography, admitting to his frailties but also acknowledging his successes.
‘‘I tell the truth, and I expose myself as a weak, misguided, misdirected, dysfunctional human being I used to be,’’ he said.
Means died at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D. He announced in August 2011 that he had inoperable throat cancer and told The Associated Press that he would forego mainstream medicine in favor of traditional American Indian remedies.
Means’ death came a day after former Sen. George McGovern died in Sioux Falls at the age of 90. McGovern had traveled to Wounded Knee with then-Sen. James Abourezk during the takeover to try to negotiate an end to hostilities.
‘‘I've lost two good friends in a matter of two to three days,’’ Abourezk said Monday. ‘‘I don’t pretend to understand it.’’
Oglala Sioux Tribe spokeswoman Donna Salomon said wake services for Means’ will be Wednesday on Pine Ridge, and his ashes will be scattered in the Black Hills on Thursday.
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