Native American activist Russell Means died Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, from complications of throat cancer. Means is best known as the leader of the American Indian Movement’s takeover in 1973 of the Wounded Knee reservation to protest the treatment of Native Americans. He was also made famous alongside actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his role in the movie “The Last of the Mohicans.” He recently told WGBH’s Phillip Martin that his passion in life was fighting against the impoverishment of his people, which he argued had changed little over the years.

"It remains the same," Means said. "In fact, our statistics of deprivation have remained constant since World War II. And it never changes with GNP [gross national product]."
Means told friends he hoped his death might help bring attention to Native people's ongoing struggles. In August 2011, he announced that that he had developed inoperable throat cancer. He died at his ranch on Monday in Porcupine, S.D., on the Oglala Sioux reservation at the age of 72.