I remember when I was in police academy in the mid 80's the instructor made a bombastic comment about "this crazy indian" (Means) and the "the go**amn trouble they caused us in the 70's and 80's" back when the instructor was in the FBI. I had absolutely /no/ idea who he was talking about (this was before the internet mind you), so I asked the instructor who he was talking about and he said, "Russell Means." I went to the library and was surprised at the wealth of information on him, the Indian Movement and Mean's long-suffering battles with the government. An incredible man who fought for NDN rights from a government that didnt' understand him or the very history of our nation.
yes ... the tribute to Russell Means is a good one (Dietmar's link). See the entire Web page there, and not just the statement by his family. In the minds of many in the US public he will always be affiliated with the AIM shootout at Pine Ridge in the 1970's. Since a US Marshall was seriously wounded, and two FBI agents were executed (as prisoners) during a separate part of the ongoing conflict, it will be remembered by US law enforcement in a very bitter way. Those casualties, along with the death of Indian activist Anna Mae Aquash, really marred the activism image of AIM. But it seems clear that Russell Means was disturbed by the unwanted violence that spilled in directions he did not anticipate, and he tried in his own way to uncover the truth and get people convicted for their crimes. It is difficult to turn time backwards - after blood has been spilled. Just the same, he made a huge effort throughout his life to help Indian rights and highlight the grievances of Native Americans. He should be remembered in a good way.