It would be a shame for Russell Means (1939-2012) to be remembered only as a maker of trouble, an unreasonable negotiator, and someone who pushed the limits of human behavior to the breaking point. I met him when I was an American Indian press reporter in Washington, D.C.
History is often made by accident, so we should not read too much into the almost simultaneous deaths last week of South Dakotans Russell Means and George McGovern.
Ten years ago thousands of adult salmon died in the Lower Klamath River in far Northern California when extremely low flows ordered by the Bush administration created lethal conditions for fish.
I was a reporter with an NBC news station in New Mexico in the winter of 2003. The morning newspaper I was reading reported that Russell Means was going to speak to students at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado that afternoon in a presentation.
Like most Native Americans, I jumped at the chance to throw my support behind President Obama in his 2008 campaign.
I recently became aware of a group that is called Coalition for the Protection of Indian Children and Families.
He was a hero. Make no mistake about it. And, his death in late October, is a great loss to America, not just American Indians, he challenged us a to be better people.
“…after I die, I'm coming back as lightning. When it zaps the White House, they'll know it's me."
In recent months, my role as Speaker of the House has allowed me to travel much of our great nation—including Indian country—and talk to Americans of all walks of life. Wherever I go, conversation quickly turns to jobs and the state of the economy.
I awoke early this morning concerned that my good friend Tim Giago had contracted Romneysia by wedding himself to Kristi Noem’s reelection aspirations. Concern for my friend compels me to do my part in inoculating him and Lakota land from the spread of Romneysia.
When I spend time on North Dakota reservations, so many friends ask me how I am holding up from all of the negative attacks from out-of-state millionaires. My response is to simply tell them why I got in this race. I am in this is for the child who wants to get a quality education.
After hanging up from a marathon talk with one of my best friends, Stephany, I suddenly remembered that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. It reminded me that cancer is the leading cause of death among Indian women, with heart disease coming in as a close second.
Dr. Phil either gets it or he doesn’t. After viewing a recent episode of his show that featured the perspective of adoptive parents in the "battle over Baby Veronica," it is clear to me that he doesn’t get it.
The behavior of Scott Brown, his staff and supporters in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate race shined a light on anti-Indian racism in American politics.