Floyd Red Crow Westerman

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Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman
Floyd Westerman2.jpg
Floyd Red Crow Westerman
BornFloyd Kanghi Duta Westerman
(1936-08-17)August 17, 1936
Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedDecember 13, 2007(2007-12-13) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place
Saint Matthew's Catholic Cemetery, Veblen, South Dakota
Other namesFloyd Crow Westerman
Floyd Westerman
Pop Wharton (nickname)
OccupationActor, Activist, Artist, Musician
Years active1988–2007
Spouse(s)Rosie Westerman
 
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Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman
Floyd Westerman2.jpg
Floyd Red Crow Westerman
BornFloyd Kanghi Duta Westerman
(1936-08-17)August 17, 1936
Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, South Dakota, U.S.
DiedDecember 13, 2007(2007-12-13) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place
Saint Matthew's Catholic Cemetery, Veblen, South Dakota
Other namesFloyd Crow Westerman
Floyd Westerman
Pop Wharton (nickname)
OccupationActor, Activist, Artist, Musician
Years active1988–2007
Spouse(s)Rosie Westerman

Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman, also known as Kanghi Duta[citation needed] (August 17, 1936 – December 13, 2007), was a Sioux musician, political activist, and actor. After establishing a career as a country music singer, later in his life, he became a leading actor depicting Native Americans in American films and television. He is sometimes credited simply as Floyd Westerman.[1] He worked as a political activist for Native American causes.

Early life[edit]

Westerman was born Floyd Westerman (Kanghi Duta) on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation, home of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, a federally recognized tribe. It is one of the tribes of the Eastern Dakota subgroup of the Great Sioux Nation, living within the U.S. state of South Dakota.[2] Kanghi Duta means "Red Crow" in Dakota (one of the three Sioux related languages).[3] At the age of 10, Westerman was sent to the Wahpeton Boarding School, where he first met Dennis Banks (who as an adult became a leader of the American Indian Movement). There Westerman and other boys were forced to cut their traditionally long hair and forbidden to speak their native languages. This experience would profoundly impact Westerman's later life. As an adult, he championed his own heritage.[4]

He graduated from Northern State University with a B.A. degree in secondary education. He also served two years in the US Marines, before beginning his career as a singer.[2]

Career[edit]

Before entering films and television, Westerman had established a solid reputation as a country-western music singer. His recordings offer a probing analysis of European influences in Native American communities. In addition to several solo recordings, Westerman collaborated with Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Harry Belafonte,[2] Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. In the 1990s, he toured with Sting to raise funds to preserve rain forests.[2]

Westerman became interested in acting after years of performing as a singer. He debuted his film career in Renegades (1989), in which he played "Red Crow", the Lakota Sioux father of Hank Storm, the character played by Lou Diamond Phillips. Additional film roles include "Chief Ten Bears" in Dances with Wolves (1990), and the “shaman” for the singer Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991).[2] Westerman appeared as Standing Elk, alongside his long-time friend Max Gail, in the family film, Tillamook Treasure (2006). He can be seen as well in the beginning of Hidalgo (2004), as Chief Eagle Horn in Buffalo Bill's circus. In September 2007, Westerman finished work for the film Swing Vote (2008).[2]

His television roles included playing "Uncle Ray" on Walker, Texas Ranger (during the pilot and first regular seasons),[2] "One Who Waits" on Northern Exposure, and multiple appearances as "Albert Hosteen" on The X-Files.[2] From 2003–2007, Westerman appeared in a number of television advertisements for "Lakota" brand topical pain reliever, for which he often wore traditional Native dress.

Westerman was recognized for his political advocacy for Native American causes. At times he participated in the American Indian Movement.

Legacy and honors[edit]

Marriage and family[edit]

Westerman married a young German woman by the name of Rosie late in life. Prior to that, he had a number of wives and fathered five children.

Death[edit]

Westerman died on December 13, 2007, at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, California, after an extended illness and complications from leukemia. He was survived by his wife Rosie and five children.[2][5]

Quotations[edit]

"And I told them not to dig for uranium, for if they did, the children would die. They didn't listen, they didn't listen, they didn't listen to me.

And I told them if the children die, there would be no keepers of the land. They didn't listen.

And I told them if they destroy the sky, machines would come and soon destroy the land. They didn't listen...

And I told them if they destroy the land, man would have to move into the sea. They didn't listen...

And I told them if they destroy the sea -- they didn't listen..."

-from the Floyd Westerman song "They Didn't Listen", which Westerman recited in concluding his testimony in 1992 at the World Uranium Hearing in Salzburg, Austria.[6]

Filmography[edit]

Television appearances[edit]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Floyd Red Crow Westerman at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robert Jablon (2007-12-16). "Floyd Red Crow Westerman, 71; Performer, Activist". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  3. ^ Canku Ota - June 3, 2000 - Floyd Westerman
  4. ^ Andréa Ford, "Milestones - Died: "Floyd (Red Crow) Westerman", Time Magazine, 27 Dec 2007, accessed 17 Oct 2010
  5. ^ Associated Press (2007-12-14). "Obituaries in the News". Associated Press, via Google. Retrieved 2007-12-23. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Floyd Westerman", World Uranium Hearing, Ratical.org

External links[edit]