Activist Russell Means to offer insight, experience

Colonialism perfected on the American Indian
Activist Russell Means to offer insight, experience

Rice News Staff

Russell Means, the man the L.A. Times called “the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse,” will discuss “Colonialism Perfected on the American Indian; Now Exported to the American Citizen” from 3 to 4 p.m. Nov. 19 in Rice Memorial Center Grand Hall. The event is free and open to the public.


Means has devoted his life to eliminating racism. In the late 1960s he put his energy into fighting for Indian rights with the American Indian Movement (AIM). He became the first national director of AIM, leading the 71-day armed takeover of the Wounded Knee battleground and joined “The Longest Walk” in 1978 to protest anti-Indian legislation.

More recently, Means has used Hollywood to communicate his message of equal rights and peace. He has written and produced two albums of protest music, “Electric Warrior” and “The Radical.” He also has held lead roles in major feature films, such as “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Natural Born Killers,” “Wagons East” and “Wind Runner,” starred in “Under a Killing Moon” and was the voice of the father in Disney’s “Pocahontas.”
The Rice Native American Student Association (RNASA) is bringing Means to campus.
“RNASA is honored to host such a prominent Native American, which we hope will raise awareness of Native American rights and issues,” said Rachelle Petrovic, graduate student and president of RNASA. “Russell Means’ life experiences in activism and influence in the media make him a powerful spokesperson and leader that people from all backgrounds can learn from and appreciate.”

Born on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation in 1939, Means is the eldest son of Hank Means, an Oglala Sioux, and Theodora (Feather) Means, a full-blooded Yankton Sioux.  Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, his family moved to California, where he graduated from San Leandro High in 1958 and continued his formal education at Oakland City College and Arizona State.


RNASA brings together American Indian students and individuals from various backgrounds for social and cultural activities and promotes awareness of American Indian issues on the Rice campus and in the Houston community. The association’s biggest event, the Annual Rice Powwow, has been held in April since 1998.

RNASA has a small but active group that meets biweekly in the fall and weekly in the
spring on Mondays at lunch in the RMC Student Organizational Workspace.

E-mail Rachelle Petrovic at to learn more about RNASA or visit

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