Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
October 21, 2000 - Issue 21

John Trudell

After years of being known as an outspoken activist for Native American rights, John Trudell, Santee Sioux, is establishing a hard-earned reputation as a rock poet. Known as a spell-binding performer, Trudell's spoken-sung phrasing and creative acumen grabs people's attention. His debut album, "aka Graffiti Man" (Rykodisc), was released in 1992 to critical acclaim by music reviewers throughout the world. Bob Dylan, in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine called "aka Graffiti Man" the "best album of the year."

Named "one of the most challenging political performers of our time," John Trudell presents his powerful
messages through two of the oldest Native American oral traditions: POETRY and MUSIC. Trudell's insights into historical and contemporary social problems, long-recognized in "Indian Country", are now gaining a broader audience. His poetic visions for respecting life encourage listeners to examine world environmental issues. His lyrics rise above the alienation and isolation of today's materialistic society and promotes peace on earth and equal rights for Native Americans and all human beings.

From 1973 to 1979, Trudell served as National Chairman of the American Indian Movement. Following the
deaths of his wife, children and mother-in-law in an arson fire, he turned to writing free verse and has released
seven albums of poetry set to music. John has also played prominent roles in two Michael Apted movies: the drama "
Thunderheart," and the "Incident at Oglala," a documentary produced by Robert Redford.

"He was an inspiration to me in making the documentary film "
Incident at Oglala" about Leonard Peltier's fight for justice..."said the film's director, Michael Apted, "... so much that I cast his as the charismatic Indian leader in "Thunderheart," a movie that deals with government oppression of the contemporary Native American. There wasn't an untruthful moment in his performance. 'Sometimes they have to kill us,' he told me, 'because they cannot break our spirit.' John is one of those rare unbreakable spirits."

"John Trudell is a crazy lone wolf, poet, prophet, preacher, warrior full of pain and fun and laughter and love...
He is a reality check," comments actor/singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson. "Justice is a fire that burns inside him. His spirit cries out for it. It makes him dangerous."

Trudell is currently touring and promoting his newest release "
Blue Indians." "Blue Indians" has been nominated for four Native American Music Awards. His song called "You Were" is one of healing. It is about the murder of his wife, and how he has taken his anger and rechanneled it into working for the good of our people. A message that many of us could learn from.

Visit this link to hear more of John Trudell
planetpeace | The Music of John Trudell



Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.

Canku Ota is a copyright of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the Copyright © 1999 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.