It’s our roundup of all the big news coming out of Indian country:
• FAREWELL: On Monday, Oglala Lakota leader Russell Means walked on, having lost a long battle against cancer. He was 72 years old. Means was a political activist and an early leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who had counted nine assassination attempts on his life.
• HIS LIFE AND TIMES: To get a sense of Means’ achievements and legacy, read our story “Russell Means: A Look at His Journey Through Life.”
• REMEMBRANCES: Sundance Chief Leonard Crow Dog, considered AIM’s spiritual leader, told ICTMN that Means “was not originally a warrior, but all the injustice that happened to the American Indians and Canadian Indians—the system made him into a warrior just like Crazy Horse.” Anishinaabe activist Winona LaDuke wrote, “He was a hero. No doubt about it.” Thing About Skins columnist Gyasi Ross called him “the toughest Indian in the whole wide world.”
• THE RACE GOES ON: In a piece written for ICTMN, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) made his case for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States of America. “We can do better,” Boehner wrote. “We need a real recovery, and a president who understands how our economy works.”
• SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) responded to the controversial depiction of the so-called “Baby Veronica” story on The Dr. Phil Show. “Veronica’s father, who has been relentlessly vilified in the media as a ‘deadbeat dad’ is, in fact, a loving parent and a decorated Iraq war veteran,” Terry Cross, the executive director of the NICWA, wrote. “Rather than acknowledge his right to protect his daughter from a media firestorm that has proven deeply biased, The Dr. Phil Show instead allowed personal attacks on his character and speculation on his parenting–from those who admittedly have had no contact with him–to continue unchallenged. We find these attacks unsupported by court records and unacceptable.