American Indian activist Russell means to speak at university lecture series

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American Indian activist Russell means to speak at university lecture series

Russell Means, the early leader of the American Indian Movement who captured national attention in 1973 when he led the 71-day armed confrontation with federal agents at Wounded Knee, S.D., to protest the government’s Indian policies, will speak at California State University, Fresno on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Means will speak on “America Has Become One Huge Indian Reservation” at 7:30 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union, 2485 E. San Ramon.

Described by the Los Angeles Times as the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, Means’ activism was aimed at dramatizing the Indian struggle for self-determination.

In 1977, he created the first international conference dealing with the sovereign rights of North and South American Indians, which was sponsored by the United Nations. The following year he participated in the “Longest Walk,” in which American Indians walked from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

In 1987, Means, a member of the Libertarian Party, was the first American Indian to run for the Presidency of the United States.

In the last decade, Means has turned his attention to the entertainment industry to further that struggle. He has starred in numerous feature films, wrote his autobiography, recorded two albums and started his own production company, T.R.E.A.T.Y. Productions.

He had lead roles in feature films, “The Last of the Mohicans” (1991) and Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killer” (1993) and was the voice of Chief Powhatan in Disney’s animated films “Pocahontas” and “Pocahontas II” (1995).

He wrote the lyrics for two albums of protest music “Electric Warrior” (1993) and “The Radical” (1996).

Means’ autobiography “Where White Men Fear to Tread,” written with Marvin J. Wolf, was published in 1995.

This year, he starred as Chief in “29 Palms,” co-starred as Joe in “Ring of Fire” and appeared on “Family Law.” He also was a visiting professor at the University of South Dakota and co-wrote “Powerful Women and Real Men.”

Means, 62, was nominated in June as the New Mexico Libertarian Party’s candidate for governor in 2002.

Lecture ticket prices are $7 in advance and $10 at the door for community. Faculty, staff and Alumni Association member tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Student tickets are $2.

The University Lecture Series is a program of the office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs with assistance from James and Coke Hallowell, the University Student Union and Associated Students Inc. Media support is provided by KJWL Radio.

For more information, call 278-2078.