This moving image from yesterday's honoring ceremony for Russell Means shows one of his sons, Tatanka Means, carrying his father's urn into the Little Wound High School in Kyle, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The 12-hour service was attended by more than 1,000 family members, friends and supporters.
The ceremony was led by Sundance Chief Leonard Crow Dog, who was with Means when he walked on. He said Means' soul would travel over four days to to the spirit realm, known in Lakota tradition as Happy Hunting Grounds. “Four days from now [October 24], he will enter [it] to see all the chiefs in his band, and all the families, all the relations, all the stillborn that went to Happy Hunting Grounds,” Crow Dog said. “He will see them in the Spirit World… Happy Hunting Grounds has never been disturbed by any corporations in the United States, Canada, South America or anywhere. Spiritually, we understand that power.”
Yesterday's service was just the first of four that are scheduled to honor Means. The second ceremony will be held at the Wounded Knee 1973 Occupation Memorial in February 2013, followed by a third at Wind Cave State Park, in South Dakota in June 2013 and the final one on Means’ birthday, on November 10, 2013. The location for the final honoring ceremony has not been determined yet. To see more images from the memorial service, visit RapidCityJournal.com.