Activist and actor Russell Means died on Monday in Porcupine, S.D. at the age of 72.
The Oglala Sioux was an early leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and had been battling throat cancer for years.
In 1973 Means was one of the leaders of a 71-day uprising at Wounded Knee in South Dakota between Lakota and FBI and law enforcement agents.
Means also acted in a number of movies including the role of chief Chingachgook in The Last of the Mohicans.
Means' wife and children released this statement on his passing:
Our dad and husband, now walks among our ancestors. He began his journey to the spirit world at 4:44 am, with the Morning Star, at his home and ranch in Porcupine. There will be four opportunities for the people to honor his life to be announced at a later date. Thank you for your prayers and continued support. We love you. As our dad and husband would always say, “May the Great Mystery continue to guide and protect the paths of you and your loved ones.”
In a post on his own website Saturday, Means wrote that he was moved by support he and his family had received since his battle with cancer was made public, and told his fans, "I, like all of us, will eventually join my ancestors, and when I do, my hope is that you will all continue to dedicate yourselves to the work to which I have tried to commit my life — liberation and freedom for my Lakota people, for all indigenous peoples, and, in fact, for ALL peoples."