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Old 06-30-2000, 09:12 AM   #28
Robert Laughing Owl
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Robert Laughing Owl is an unknown quantity at this point
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Charleston SC USA
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Originally posted by powwowbum:
Meanwhile, back at the topic: all of the full-blood elders with whom I have contact use the word Indian. It only seems to be the newbies who have a problem with the term. First Nations appears to be growing in popularity though, particularly in Canada.

As for Russel Means; most everyone outside of AIM feels that Russel has left a consistent wake, and it’s not positive. Even on his on reservation, people remember well when Russel publicly blasted natives who participated in the movie industry, saying that they were selling their “Indianess.” Yet, within a few years, he’s in the movie business.

Most importantly, Russel may very well bring down the legal status of all Native nations through his recent actions. On one hand he claims that Indian nations are sovern nations (based on treaty language) and should therefore be autonomous in their judicial jurisdiction. Yet, the Navajo Supreme Court has indicted him for assaults he (allegedly) committed while on the Navajo reservation, but he refuses to answer their indictment by filing in US Federal Court that they have no jurisdiction over him. If he really is working for all Native people, he should acknowledge the judicial authority of the Navajo Supreme Court and face the charges against him.

I know he’s a man, and thus, will make mistakes. But if you evaluate his leadership over the long haul, what he’s left behind is turmoil and controversy.

At least that’s opinion.
I really cant disagree with you on the most of this...but you have left some things out. There was a time esoecially when he was young that he really was quite radical about everything...and now that he has gotten older and a little more mellow I think satements like the movie thing turn to bite him back...but he is human, and it is human to error. I would like to day though that you named 2 instances that were admittedly bad, for the hundreds of good things that he has done. I respect russell a great deal and am happy to work with him, those who have never met him do not know what a great person he is. Lets not leave out the Bellecourts, the self proposed leaders of the grand governing council that were thrown out of AIM in the early 90s to just say that they owned aim and started a following. They are known drug dealers and users, have even been known to distribute weed at protests. It is sad that people like this never get blasted, but russell does. The way that I see it is that all of us in AIM have our own part to play and it is up to us to create the way that out chapters are seen , and to help people with all that we can. Leonard peltier said that there are no followers in AIM we are all leaders, an army of one to ourselves

Robert Laughing Owl
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