Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA Russell Means, Lakota, one of the American Indian Movement's most ardent warriors during the past 50 years, is near death in a Rapid City hospital.
Russell Means on Stage
at Dennis Banks Birthday Roast
“I talked to the Means family and I am on my way there now to be with him,”
Dennis Banks, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement, told the Native News Network on Sunday afternoon.
“He has been a dear friend of mine and I consider him perhaps one of the greatest warriors of modern time.”
"My understanding is the doctors have not given him long to live. A lot people are traveling there now."
A posting on the Russell Means Freedom website late last night seeks to dispel rumors about him during this time:
"I have been very moved by the global outpouring of love and support that has been sent to me and my wife, Pearl, since reports of my new illness became public.
At times such as this, it is common for inaccurate information and rumors to circulate. A recent rumor that I had passed to the spirit world, is inaccurate. I, like all of us, will eventually join my ancestors, and when I do, my hope is that you will all continue to dedicate yourselves to the work to which I have tried to commit my life liberation and freedom for my Lakota people, for all indigenous peoples, and, in fact, for ALL peoples. It is true that I am very ill, but my spirit and humor remain strong.
Whatever the future holds, the truth is that the work of the TREATY Total Immersion School, the Republic of Lakotah, and the freedom principles of AIM will continue, and hopefully grow.
For the most accurate information about me, and my health status, please rely, first and foremost on this website, my official method of communicating to you all. May the Great Mystery continue to watch over you and your loved ones."
Means was diagnosed with esophagus cancer in July 2011. During the ensuing months, Means underwent extensive tomotherapy, an intensity modulated radiation treatment, at the Sunridge Medical Wellness Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Means has participated in several traditional Indigenous ceremonies provided by Oglala and Navajo medicine men.
Early this year, he was deemed cancer free and remained so for most of year until cancer was discovered in his body on August 20.
The Washington Post has called Means the " biggest, baddest, meanest, angriest, most famous American Indian activist of the late 20th century."
posted October 21, 2012 6:50 pm edt