Reading poems, interspersed with talk, Trudell comments on intelligence, responsibility and what it means to be a human being. Trudell grew up on the Santee Sioux reservation near Omaha, Nebraska. From 1973-79 he served as National Chairman of AIM.
John Trudell is a poet, musician, and an advocate for Native American rights. He did not set out to be a writer. His poetic gift developed out of the remarkable, sometimes horrifying circumstances of his life.
Trudell grew up on and around the Santee Sioux reservation near Omaha, Nebraska. In 1969 he participated in the Indians of All Tribes Occupation of Alcatraz. >From 1973-1979 he served as National Chairman of AIM, the American Indian Movement. The government response to A.I.M. was swift: Trudell said, "They waged a war against us. They hunted us down. They killed, jailed, destroyed us by any means necessary."
In 1979 that war took a terrible personal toll on John Trudell. On February 11 he led a march to the FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. Approximately 12 hours later in the early morning hours, a fire "of suspicious origin" burned down Trudell's home on the Shoshone Paiute reservation in Nevada, killing his wife Tina, their three children, and Tina's mother.
Devastated by this loss of his family, Trudell withdrew from the world; "writing words" became his way "to keep some sanity" and continue to survive.
Now Trudell has returned as musician, poet and highly sought after public speaker. You are about to hear the talk he gave in March 2001 in San Francisco. The hall was filled to capacity. Trudell took the stage with a thin folder of his poems under his arm. He began with a disclaimer of sorts, leading into a free association of thoughts about earth and sun, ancient wisdom and modern intelligence and what it means to be a human being.