Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Health. Discussion »
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA The past two years have been a struggle for Russell Means, Lakota, as he has vigorously fought cancer.
Russell Means with wife Pearl last year
On Monday the family of Russell Means released an email revealing that the American Indian Movement veteran is again fighting cancer. While sent by his family, the content of the email was written by Means, in the first-person. Here is the text of the email:
Hau Mi Takuyeyapi, hello my relatives.
I know many are concerned about my health and I want to thank you for your strong prayers and for all the ceremonies taking place on my behalf.
On August 20, I learned I have new cancer spots. I am in Scottsdale, AZ where I have fantastic medical teams utilizing both alternative and western applications. We are working toward a good solid program that will enable me to come home to my ranch on the Pine Ridge Sioux Indian Reservation within the next few weeks.
I am sorry I am not available for comments as I need all of my energy to fight for my life once again. I love you and look forward to regaining my life.
May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones.
As indicated in the message, Means does not disclose the location of the cancer in his body. In July 2011, he was diagnosed with esophagus cancer and elected not have surgery which would have required removal of a major portion of his tongue. He depended on alternative medicine, including American Indian ceremonial remedies.
“I know the cancer has not returned to the throat area,”
co-founder of the American Indian Movement Dennis Banks to the Native News Network on Monday. Banks and Means fought side by side at the onset of the 71-day siege of Wounded Knee in 1973.
“It is some other type of cancer, as I have been told,”
continued Dennis Banks.
“I heard he has been weak. I would ask people to pray for him.”
After many years as an American Indian activist, Means became a Hollywood actor. Since 1992, he has appeared in "The Last of the Mohicans," "The Pathfinder," "Natural Born Killers," "Windrunner: A Spirited Journey, " "Thomas and the Magic Railroad." His served as the voice of Chief Pawhatan in"Pocahontas" in the hit 1995 Disney movie.
Also, during 1995, Means released his autobiography, -Where White Men Fear to Tread," co-written with Marvin J. Wolf.
In July, Means released his latest book online: "You've Forgotten the Names of the Clouds, You've Lost Your Way." The book was co-written by Bayard Johnson. The book takes the reader on a journey into the intriguing and little understood belief system and world view shared by many American Indians and other indigenous people around the world.
posted October 9, 2012 6:40 am edt