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