WETIKO IN OUR TIMES…
John Trudell (February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2015) was a Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist. He was the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes’ takeover of Alcatraz beginning in 1969, broadcasting as Radio Free Alcatraz. During most of the 1970s, he served as the chairman of the American Indian Movement, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
After his pregnant wife, three children and mother-in-law were killed in 1979 in a *suspicious fire at the home of his parents-in-law on the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Nevada, Trudell turned to writing, music and film as a second career. He acted in films in the 1990s. The documentary Trudell (2005) was made about him and his life as an activist and artist.
[ * “In 1979, his mother-in-law, pregnant wife (Tina Manning), and three children were killed in a fire at their home in Nevada. It occurred within 12 hours of his burning a flag on the steps of the FBI building in Washington DC. He viewed it as an act of war meant to silence him and his outspoken wife.“]
Trudell was the co-founder of Hempstead Project Heart with Willie Nelson, which became a project of Earth Island Institute in 2012. Hempstead Project Heart is dedicated to raising awareness about the environmental, social, and economic benefits of legalizing industrial hemp in America.
Trudell was also involved with Seva Foundation and their Native American programs. He performed at numerous benefit concerts in support of their work.