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This clip features Russell and his wife Pearl Means discussing the power of gender roles in indigenous societies.

 (This clip was filmed by Shannon Kring Buset and Nick Polizzi, in conjunction with The Sacred Science, LLC and WildHeart Vision.)

Russell Charles Means (November 10, 1939 – October 22, 2012) was an American Oglala Lakota activist for the rights of Native American people. He became a prominent member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) after joining the organization in 1968, and helped organize notable events that attracted national and international media coverage.

Means was active in international issues of indigenous peoples, including working with groups in Central and South America, and with the United Nations for recognition of their rights. He was active in politics at his native Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and at the state and national level.

Beginning an acting career in 1992, he appeared in numerous films, including The Last of the Mohicans, and released his own music CD. He published his autobiography Where White Men Fear to Tread in 1995. Means died in 2012, less than a month before his 73rd birthday.


Means was born in Shannon, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. His parents were Theodora Louise Feather and Walter "Hank" Means. His mother was a Yankton Dakota from Greenwood, South Dakota and his father, an Oglala Lakota. He was given the name Wanbli Ohitika by his mother, which means "Brave Eagle" in the Lakota language

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