Russell Means

1939 - 2012

Russell Means was born an Oglala/Lakota Sioux Indian. He was the first national director of the American Indian Movement (AIM) in which role he became prominent during the 1973 standoff with the U.S. government at Wounded Knee. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Libertarian Party and announced his candidacy for the party's presidential nomination. (He lost the nomination to Congressman Ron Paul). Since 1992, Means has appeared in The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Natural Born Killers (1994) and other movies. He has championed the rights of indigenous peoples in other countries as well as the U.S. In a televised speech to the 2000 Libertarian Party National Convention, Means said that he prefers the label "Indian" to the more politically-correct "Native American". "Everyone who is born in America is a native American", he said.

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