View Full Version : A promising candidate?

August 11th, 2001, 11:39 PM
now THIS is something I'll have to think about, in 2004. !!!!!!!!!!
Long article..but worth the read.

FARMINGTON (Feb. 15, 2001) - Oglala Sioux. Indian activist. Movie star. Author. Presidential candidate. Musician. Libertarian. Freedom fighter. Sell out.

Whatever one decides to call Russell Means, there is no denying that the former American Indian Movement leader is still one of the more controversial, dynamic and influential Native American speakers. Means signed copies of his two albums and autobiography, Where White Men Fear to Tread, on Saturday (Feb. 10) in Farmington.

Means, who once resided in Chinle, held nothing back as he touched on his pending lawsuit against the Navajo Nation, the cases of Peter MacDonald Sr. and Leonard Peltier, the takeover of the Fairchild plant in Shiprock, AIM, the murder of Anna Mae Aquash and charges that he's a "sell out."

"The reason I was protesting in the early 1970s - so I thought - was because my children wouldn't have to," he said. "I've marched all over this country. What I found out is if I want my people to be free, the Whiteman has to be free - at least in this country."

Means held an overflow audience of more than 120 people captive for about 90 minutes, mostly talking about the Libertarian Party and his personal experiences of fighting for the rights of American Indians. The Libertarian Party of San Juan County (N.M.) - the third largest political party for which Means ran for president in 1988 - sponsored the forum.

'Native American' vs. 'American Indian' He refused to use the term "Native American" because, as he described it, every person born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. He preferred "American Indian" because "America" was part of a word that a tribe in Columbia originated, he said, and the hemisphere was not named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci who sailed along the coast of present-day Brazil in 1499.

Means, 61, is a leading Libertarian Party candidate to run for president in 2004. He said the "military coup d'etat" that occurred Nov. 7 and put George W. Bush in the White House wasn't a surprise for American Indians.
We've seen losers win in tribal elections, constantly," he said. "Look at the reservations, it's a perfect example that we're not free. You know what's wrong with having a piece of the pie; you don't have the whole pie. You want things to change in Indian Country, those people called tribal officials, they don't want anything to change. They all have a piece of the pie. "All these public officials, they should be in prison for abusing us," he said.

Challenging Navajo Nation courts On Jan. 11, the Chinle District Court ordered a stay in Means' case for a year until his appeal in U.S. District Court in Phoenix is decided. Means appealed his case after the Navajo Nation Supreme Court remanded three charges of criminal assault to the Chinle court. Means is accused of threatening and battering Leon Grant, his former father-in-law and member of the Omaha Tribe, and allegedly battering Jeremiah Bitsui, a Navajo, on Dec. 28, 1997 in Chinle.

Means challenged the lower court's hearing and on April 14, 1998, the court upheld the charges. He then appealed - on the basis that the Navajo Nation does not have criminal jurisdiction over members of other tribes - to the tribal Supreme Court, which heard the case at Harvard University in Boston. It decided May 11, 1999, that the case be held over for trial.

Means appealed that decision to federal court. He argues that the Supreme Court violated the Treaty of 1868 when it sided with the U.S. government and, in a sense, accepted "American apartheid." He does not see his lawsuit as an infringement on Navajo sovereignty. "My lawsuit is for the Navajo Nation to live up to its own constitution, its treaty and the United States Constitution and recognize that they are a different country under a protectored status," Means said.

"This case also points out a peculiar fact of the dictatorship over Indian people by the U.S. Congress," he said. "The law that says that Indian tribes can prosecute other Indians was passed by Congress after the (U.S.) Supreme Court said it was constitutional, which means only in Indian law can Congress interfere and override a Supreme Court decision.
No other U.S. citizen can this happen to. "So it's time for the Navajo tribe and all tribal governments to wake up to the fact that the Congress of the United States of America is their dictator and we Indian people are not part of the political process of the U.S.," he added.
"Simply put, it's an American apartheid."

The Navajo Supreme Court disagreed, stating, "There is a general and false assumption that Indian nations have no criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians and nonmember Indians. While the United States Supreme Court ruled that Indian nations have no inherent jurisdiction over non-Indians...there is no inherent criminal jurisdiction over nonmember Indians. "We find that the petitioner, by reason of his marriage to a Navajo, longtime residence within the Navajo Nation, his activities here, and his status as a hadane, consented to Navajo Nation criminal jurisdiction," the opinion stated. "This Court finds that the Chinle District Court has jurisdiction under the Treaty of 1868."

However, Means said, there are two bodies of Indian law involved in the case. The first classifies a tribal government as nothing more than a corporation, "no different than a Rotary Club or Lion's Club," he said. The second utilizes sovereignty as a basis for legal decisions by the federal courts. "In order for the Navajo Nation to have jurisdiction over nonmembers, they have to forgo their sovereignty and operate in a court of law as a corporation," he said.

MacDonald and Peltier "Indian people who historically stood up for the rights of Indian people...I'll give you two elected leaders who improved the well-being of their people and went to prison for it. That is Richard Real Bird and MacDonald," Means said. "Both went to federal prison based on shoddy bookkeeping and false charges." Real Bird, former Crow tribal chairman, was jailed on federal charges of mismanagement of tribal funds.

"You want to talk about power, look at the condition of the Navajo Nation
since they prosecuted one of their own - look what's happened!" Means said. "(Dennis) DeConcini misspent millions of dollars of campaign funds and nothing happened to the former senator of Arizona. And it was at the very same time they were persecuting and prosecuting Peter MacDonald. People conveniently forget that.

"It's racist," he added. "Him and Leonard Peltier, it shows you the inhumane hatred for Indians. Leonard Peltier was a freedom fighter. One of the things you understand going into a struggle for freedom, you'll face prison and death. The phenomenon of Leonard Peltier is incredible. Going in, he knew the risk. I knew the risk. He refused to have anybody waste time on getting him out of prison. The waste of time trying to get him out of prison is a waste of time from gaining freedom.

"What you can do is elect me president and I'll pardon his (expletive)," Means declared.

Fairchild, AIM, the Aquash murder Means said he and AIM joined in the Fairchild plant takeover in February 1975 only at the invitation of the DinĂ AIM. Twenty armed protesters took the plant for eight days. When they left, so did Fairchild Semiconductor. Left behind were 473 employees, mostly Navajos, without jobs. "They (plant owners) were going overseas to Korea. They were leaving this area. They were leaving the Navajo Nation," he said. "Fairchild used that as an excuse and who got
the blame? The victims."

Means said he's no longer a part of AIM.

"The American Indian Movement has sunk into colonization dysfunction,"
he said. "I'm no longer a part of that. The American Indian Movement served its purpose and history will reward us." Means said a former AIM member was responsible for the killing of Anna Mae Aquash, who was suspected of being an informant. Aquash, 30, was kidnapped in Denver and killed in Rapid City, S.D. Her body was found near Wanblee, S.D., in February 1976. No arrest has been made in the case. "It goes to show the racism of the judicial system in America," Means said. "I don't know how many
times people have to be abused before they wake up to the fact and they say it hurts."

Three grand juries have convened, but no indictments have been made. Means said the Federal Bureau of Investigation knows the names of the kidnappers, the house she was taken to, the person who pulled the trigger and the man who ordered her execution. That man, he alleges, is former AIM member Vernon Bellecourt.

"It was the second time he ordered her execution. The first time was over here at Fairchild," he said. "This proves Vernon Bellecourt is a vile, murdering federal agent. I testified on that before the third grand jury.
What more do they need?"

The 'sell out' accusation In the past 10 years, Means has devoted time to developing a Total Immersion School in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The school, modeled after the Rough Rock (Ariz.) School, would totally immerse kids in Sioux culture and language. He said that project would never have gotten off the ground if not for him getting involved in the entertainment industry. "All of a sudden somebody wants to give you a lot of money and you're a sell out?" Means asked. "That
means, therefore, that every Indian that has an income is a sell out. It's an absurd notion.

"What Hollywood has afforded me is I've met new people and doors have opened," he said. "Because I'm an actor, my total immersion school is reality. That would never have happened this quickly because I'm an actor now. By the way, I bought land (for the school) owned by a white man on my reservation, so I make no apologies for selling out."


Earth Walker
August 12th, 2001, 02:46 AM
Are there previous events concerning Russel Means prior to

Patriarchy had a specific beginning in history.
it will also have an end. :smash:

August 12th, 2001, 12:22 PM
Russell Means is one of the founding members of AIM...the American Indian Movement. He was involved in the seige at wounded knee. He has been an activist for Native American rights for MANY years. For more info about him, i would reccomend visiting his website..


There is a bio of him there. Also links to other Native American Sites where you could probably find out more about him. I must say, he is a controversial figure. He is quite radical in his beliefs, but..sounds to me like he's a better candidate than many we have in office NOW!!!!!! LOL.

Earth Walker
August 12th, 2001, 12:34 PM
Thanx. I will check it out. :cool:

Only my Cat understands me. :D