AIM activist Means to speak about Wounded KneeSIOUX FALLS (AP) — Former American Indian Movement activist Russell Means, who led the 1973 armed uprising at Wounded Knee, will speak at a conference recognizing the upcoming 40th anniversary of the takeover, event organizers announced Monday.
By: KRISTI EATON, The Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Former American Indian Movement activist Russell Means, who led the 1973 armed uprising at Wounded Knee, will speak at a conference recognizing the upcoming 40th anniversary of the takeover, event organizers announced Monday.
Means will give a special address reflecting on Wounded Knee at the annual Dakota Conference at Augustana College's Center for Western Studies in Sioux Falls, which is slated for April 27-28. This year's conference theme is "Wounded Knee 1973: Forty Years Later." Mean's address is scheduled for April 27.
"Mr. Means' ability to share first-hand details of the occupation, and his reflections 40 years later, will no doubt provide fascinating insight into one of the Northern Plains' most significant historical events," Harry Thompson, executive director of The Center for Western Studies, said in a statement.
The Dakota Conference is bringing together several players from all sides of the uprising, including federal agents and prosecutors, activists and witnesses. The daughter of slain AIM activist Annie Mae Aquash also is slated to speak.
Means was a prominent member of AIM, which was founded in the late 1960s to protest the U.S. government's treatment of Native Americans and demand it honor treaties with Indian tribes. One of the group's most well-known events was the 71-day armed takeover of Wounded Knee to protest government corruption.
Means' scheduled speech comes months after he announced his recovery from cancer. In August, Means said he had inoperable throat cancer and was forgoing mainstream medical treatments in favor of traditional American Indian remedies and alternative treatments in Arizona. He said in December that he had beaten the cancer.
Artists from all over the country also have submitted work for a first-of-its-kind art show and exhibit dedicated to the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre and 1973 occupation ahead of the Dakota Conference.
The artwork, which is on display at Augustana College through May 26, is meant to help foster understanding and build stronger relationships between Natives and non-Natives as the anniversary of the Wounded Knee takeover approaches, said Timothy Hoheisel, director of Outreach and Promotion at The Center for Western Studies.