I grew up next to the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington state and I remember how native elders were revered throughout the community. At the annual powwow the elders shared their history through song and dance, and all generations sat together, joining in the chanting and drumming.
The 1970s was a turbulent time of confrontation and conflict, and Russell Means perfectly fit that zeitgeist. To Native Americans who had endured centuries of oppression, the handsome, charismatic Oglala Sioux with the waist-length braids of black hair was a mash-up of Malcolm X, Abbie Hoffman and Saul Alinsky - a once-wayward soul who found a new purpose as a militant activist and who mixed physical confrontation with political theater.
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