Today, I’m excited to share an interview we filmed with the legendary Lakota elder Russell Means and his wife Pearl a few summers ago. I’ve spoken with many wisdom keepers in my life, but this talk stands out as one of the highlights of my career.
The inspiration for this piece came from an interview we filmed with the legendary Lakota elder Russell Means and his wife Pearl a few summers ago. I’ve spoken with many wisdom keepers in my life, but this talk stands out as one of the highlights of my career.
To put it simply, Russell was one of my heroes growing up. You see, aside from being one of the most polarizing figures in the American Indian struggle, he was also a widely known Hollywood actor, who played a powerful role in my favorite movie of all time, Last of the Mohicans.
Because of his image as an activist and fearless leader, we thought Russell’s words would be warrior-like in nature with a focus on honor, courage, and the willingness to die for what you believe in.
We were wrong.
In the video we’ve shared below, you will bear witness as the strong-minded elder softens in the presence of his loving wife. The two kindred souls share pearls of golden wisdom that only age can teach. In a touching demonstration of his infinite respect for her, Russell defers to Pearl in the first half of the video, waiting until she is finished to add his two cents.
We did not know it then, but this would be the iconic Means’ last interview ever. His life ended just months after this video was shot.
I still remember the fear-tinged excitement that my dear friend Shannon Kring and I felt on the drive over to his house. We had no idea what type of welcome to expect.
But, upon walking into the room and shaking his hand, Russell told us that he had agreed to meet with us because he trusted we would help preserve the wisdom of his people. In the hour that followed, he showed us a side of himself that few people ever saw.
I hope we have succeeded in honoring his trust.
Director, The Sacred Science
this works in their society as they all buy into it..It does not work in our society as women are not valued.
With the right man woman are valued
Thank you Nick for the message
I recommend the book ” Exemplar of Liberty by Donald Grinde to further learn about how native Americal Women have played a major role in providing the wisdom and constructs for living peacefully in their own society as well as influencing the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the United States of America.’
Thank you for this. Something struck me in the title. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to call this An Interview with Russell and Pearl Means? Especially considering the content?!
I’d be interested to hear their perspective on homosexuality. In my experience, men can be just as naturally nurturing as women. And some women are not naturally nurturing. In their tradition, can there be the same energetic balance in a same sex partnership?
Two-Spirited people are revered and are given a role of honour…they can cross barriers, role play, be whomever they wish to be…fluidity is their birthright and heritage!
I so do agree, i’ve seen this situation within my own family.
If it does not work in our contemporary society we must look to the causative factors. Youth are bombarded with sexually explicit materials in the media, are raised in single family homes or left to raise themselves and then expected to conform to a model that only rarely exists in our culture. As a matriarch, I feel great responsibility to help youth, both male and female, to understand the value of Spirit centered sacred relationship and the gifts such relationship bring. May we find ways to nurture such thought and action in our youth. Mitakuye oyasin.
Good by Russell, this world will miss you.
I believe environment plays a big factor in this type of society working or not. I don’t feel I was naturally nurturing. I did recognize that most every girl around me in my youth was. I was not. I really didn’t come into the role until my thirties. I was spoiled as a child and I expected that to continue during my adulthood. But now that I’m older I was introduced to the Baptist denomination of Christianity. I do feel this way is highly respectable of gender roles. But also restrictive in a way, because it seems to only expect I can teach certain things and not others. About the interview, one thing that struck me as sad is the idea for an older man to marry a young woman so the wife can take care of the man in his old age. No woman wants to be a widow and live without her mate. I watched my grandmother, ten years younger than my grandfather live thirty years alone after my grandfather died. It was always a sad sight during holidays for us. Men should understand this. She was always surrounded by her children, some lived with her, but there is no substitute in this life for the marital bond.
Wisdom from the ones who know. Thankyou for sharing this powerful knowledge with the future generations. May we all be as wise and blessed!
I began to well up before he did…This was so beautiful and powerful.. Sharing
This was BEAUTIFUL, the Indigenous know and we have ALOT to LEARN from them.
what are the folks view on the LGBT community?.
That was beautifully articulated
Beautiful! Every society should have the respect and appreciation for both the female and male in life. Enjoyed this conversation so much, it is so true. Thank You!!
I am moved beyond words.
really beautiful knowledge and wisdom almost completely forgotten in todays society – the sacred woman
The time has come for us to utilize everyone strength, we has had a change of the dynamics of our world at this time. Women have a huge role to play in this new way of life now. I feel the time is now for the strong women of the world to step forward, the world needs you!!!
Beautiful and powerful. Thank you for sharing.
Wish the music was in the background,instead of the foreground. It competes with the interview and much is missed! re-mix, the sound.
I would love to see this whole interview. Is there a way we can access it?
Really really beautiful.
I’m a single parent who thought they had the same thing he was talking about. But change of life is soo difficult not only for the woman but for the family. Mine reverted to her childhood and wanted to date everyone see came into contact with I had to end it. But your so right about we need the woman when were young and as aging adults they are needed again. I’m not look forward to this aging thing
Thank you very much for this video. I am very much interested in the native americam ways and other societies that honor the divine feminine.
What wonderful wisdom and honesty. What a peaceful world it would be if everyone was like that.
Thank you for sharing the Wisdom that these two dear people have to say in this video.
I am grateful, and I am encouraged to continue to invest my heart and soul into the lives of my family as Mother, Grandmother, Auntie , sister, daughter and girlfriend.
Women have many roles, and they continue throughout life, I am a Senior now and believe my influence is even more powerful as the new generations enter into our lives. I so appreciate the Aboriginal culture and their respect for each other. I Bow to their Light and to yours for having the Wisdom to share this with all your members.
In Love and Light
Beautiful! Our society is missing out on this wisdom.
A very moving interview with Pearl and Russell showing the depth of their souls. I have always admired the native American Indians and their wisdom. Thank you for allowing us to see this Video.
Wow a lot of men should absorb this wisdom. All we hear from most man is criticism. We are all His creation, and he doesn’t make mistakes or garbage. He mad us in to his image. Thank you so much for sharing my condolences to the family.
Every couple should watch this video. Every man and woman who think they want to marry should watch this interview. If Men and Women thought along these lines, it would not only make sense but might just resonate with them as it did with me. This is my all time favorite Youtube video to date!
I AGREE with you 100&10%!
I agree.lot can be learned from them to our society about respect and admiration for women ..
Thank you…i deeply appreciate your work.
Thanks, this was great and deep and verystrong and clear.
lovely to see the warrior spirit emote and share the wisdom of his ancestors
WOW! This is so pure and revealing!
Thank You, What a wonderful words ,
Thank you for this rare glimpse into the mind of this iconic leader. I am a teacher of yoga, have been for more than 50 years, and am not in the rare and wonderful position of being able to teach Restorative Yoga to the elders in my own tribe, my own community. It is such a gift and honour. thank you for this sharing.
Sorry for the typo (important typo) in my last message …I AM NOW in the rare and wonderful position of teaching the elders of my own tribe…. etc
For those wondering about LGBTQI, there are so many different tribes, cultures and customs, but many indigeous cultures believe in “two spirits.” If you google that, you can find more info.
What a wonderful human being! What a loss we suffered the day he left us……………Thank you so very much for sending this,it was,is a fantastic dedication . Pearl, she is an awesome person,I wish I knew her…
thank you so beautiful so true and good to hear in the afternoon of a day working hard for my 91 year old Dad Salutations
I love this truth and teach it.
I hope the background noise was not part of the Interview because it was disrespectful.
BUT,the interview was amazing. A man like Russell MEANS to celebrate and share his passion for the livelihood of women is astounding!
We need that way of thought and respect among our young generations!
Rest in peace and glory..Russell Means
I said the same thing. I wish they can cancel the background NOISE and repost the interview and give it the respect they really want to share with the public
I don’t think gender specific roles are what’s important, it’s loyalty, love and respect that matters, all three of which are clearly evident between these two. Very touching.
Wouldn’t this world be a better place if wisdom could be passed down through the generations without getting lost, and then the lost people wandering around for years trying to find themselves?
Two Spirited people have a place of honour and are exempt from these concepts…they are the ones who can move fluidly from one role to another. They are the musicians, artisans, dreamers and fill a completely different role!
That you for sharing this. What a beautiful tribute to the Divine Feminine!
What a beautiful interview. Thank you for sharing.
Wow! That was really touching and very beautiful. They truly expressed Agape love–that deep burning love that so many are searching for in the Western culture. Thank you,
Turn to Mother Earth for your food and medicine.It is long forgotten wisdom.
Google trippin. Synthetic streams of consciousness. This has been a good one. Ive been chating with the spirit of the Bitter Root and without even ingesting it, merely being in its presence Im getting massive downloads. “F”ln cool!
What a beautiful thing to observe, their mutual respect and honor.
Wounded Knee will be known as long as his name is spoken. And I had the vision of Pearl as Mother Bear all the way through the piece.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful wisdom. It is a gift and so amazing to see such respect and love within a relationship. All but lost in today’s society.
Thank you Nick, for posting that interview, with Russel and his beautiful wife! I generally am a big supporter of freedom of expression and responsibilities, beyond gender roles, but listening to those two native elders speak, brought me to tears! The mutual appreciation, the acknowledgment of male and female qualities, their deep respect for one another…So beautiful!!
Thanks Nik…OMG, how the west has forgotten, this is how i have viewed relationships but this has put me at odds with in the western system. very powerful, and a wonderful expression of a love for one another.
What an awesome interview! Sharing this with friends, and will pobably watch it a couple more times. Thanks you so much for sharing it..
If we taught this more and learned their ways this society would change dramatically!!!!!!
Thank you Nick for this email. It’s changed the way I look at myself. I’m at the stage of sage advice, nurturance and unconditional love and it’s a beautiful thing.
So very moving. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Wonderful couple. This idea often doesn’t work out in our society because we are living in a unrealistic, unstable society. I look forward to the day that is not the case.
Nick & company, thank you for sharing & preserving Russell & Pearl’s knowledge & wisdom. This has touched & nurtured my soul as I begin my journey as a Canadian senior citizen.
To listen to such wisdom is enlightening the soul
so emotional and moving, would love to see the whole interview. The diaper to diaper is something which will stay long in my memory,
I was very touched by his words.
How great was this, Russell will be greatly missed
Uplifting wisdom that we all need.
This for sharing this mature Russell. A different man than when he visited my classroom with Dennis and Clyde. He/they opened my students’ eyes then, hopefully now.
I thought that was very insightful. If only we the people could live by that we would be better off.
A very moving interview….Thank you for your astute ability to focus on a most important subject for all women…..
I found this very interesting. Thank you for sharing a great interview. I did not know this about the relationships with the Indians. I salute their culture.
Wow wish the rest of the world would follow these guide line
Lovely and powerful words – shared from a place of grace and love – thank you for sharing this important message
very beautiful and touching thanks so much for sharing
Other cultures need to understand true love and respect for both the masculine and feminine and until we bring both into balance things will remain the same on our planet.
Is there any possible way to post the video of Elder Russell Means to my page on Facebook? I too amThankder, but female..I would very much love to leave a legacy for my grandchildren to know how IMPORTANT the gender roles of NATIVE’S compared to non NATIVES our youth are going towards the non NATIVES, We are losing our culture, and it’s my role as an female elder to lead the youth back!!!…The gender roles are Essential to each clan as the air we breathe!!! So please tell me how to share Elder Russell Means video??? Thank You for your time….
Would it be possible to share the video of Words of Wisdom?? This is very close to me and my spirit???