Lakota Language and Culture Activist Russell Means Diagnosed with Cancer

Send a link to this blog post or article to everyone you know who can pray for Russell Means (Oglala Sioux), an actor and former American Indian Movement leader that was diagnosed with esophageal cancer (spread to his tongue, lungs and lymph nodes), which is too advanced for surgery. However, he has decided to keep his oral organs in tact than have them removed or damaged through chemotherapy for a better chance of survival under Western medicine.

Instead, he is using alternative medicine; cancer fighting teas and plants indigenous to Native North, Meso and South America, as well as Europe. Although Means recognizes his chances of survival are slim, but is at peace with his fate, viewing death as a change of worlds. Video responses to Means’ YouTube confirmation of his condition has inspired waves of responses from around the world.

Ironic to the type of impairment his cancer is causing, one of Means’ greatest aspirations was to revitalize the Lakota language. Sadly, his endeavor never got off the ground:

As part of his vision to create Lakotah, Means started the Treaty School, an immersion-language school for young children in a three-story prototype of an oversized Lakota tipi on his property. The structure remains unfinished, and the school never grew beyond a handful of students.

“Because of our poverty, that ultimately failed,” he said.

People couldn’t afford gas to bring their children to school, much less tuition, he said.

“We’re losing our language, and nobody cares,” he said of a cultural reality that he sees as the biggest disappointment of his life.

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4 Responses to “Lakota Language and Culture Activist Russell Means Diagnosed with Cancer”

  1. Ha’weh Russell, Dear brother my name is David Wolfsky Flynn born into the Tuscarora Six Nations Turtle Clan. My spirit is wolf brother. My maternal father was Irish and my maternal mother was Iroquoian. My grandfather and great grandfather was Wolf Clan. My mothers bloodline go’s a long way back in history. Mother always said we must not lose our culture and language and that we must teach our childern about our nation. Russell you are great man brother and what you have been doing for your people is wonderful and honorable brother. I have been sending prayers to our creator for you to have a swift recovery so you can go on with your mission and finish what is in your heart. Many Blessings and much love Russell. Oneh.

  2. Wisconsin is now ready for property sales. Thank Goodness. Gosh, what was a realtor to think!?

  3. Psycholog says:

    I’ve been following your blog for a month or so and have picked up a ton of good information as well as enjoyed the way you’ve structured your site. I am attempting to run my own blog but I think its too general and I want to focus more on smaller topics. Being all things to all people is not all that its cracked up to be.

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