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Russell Charles Means (1939–2012) was an Oglala Sioux who, as a political activist, writer, and entertainer, fought for the rights of Native Americans and indigenous people around the world. He gained national recognition for his leadership role in the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Since splitting with his former colleagues in AIM, Means devoted his later years to depicting the Native American cause within the film industry.
Means was born November 10, 1939, in Wanblee, South Dakota, a town located within the Pine Ridge Reservation.
In 1942, his family moved to San Francisco, where his father found work in the shipyards. Dealing with an alcoholic father, Means had a troubled adolescence before graduating in 1958 from ...