Rest in Power and Our Loving Embrace: John Trudell February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2015

trudell buck echohawk

by Bucky Echohawk

This is my absolute favorite of his poetry set to music.

John died after an apparent long bout with cancer.  The bio page from his website has been removed; I regret that terribly, as he told his own tragic history, and what he did to turn the almost unbearable poison…into medicine.  Although I searched, no other bio page did his story justice.

Were I to try to tell the story of the ‘suspicious’ fire that burned his house down while his family was inside just after John’s burning an Amurrican flag on the steps of some federal courthouse, I’d likely muck it up.  They all perished: his wife, two or three children, and mother-in-law.

A wee bit from Michael Donnelly’sJohn Trudell: Human Being’:


The great Santee Sioux poet/philosopher/warrior passed December 8, 2015 after a long bout with cancer. He was at peace, surrounded by family and friends; many had tirelessly helped care for John thru this transition. He lived a magnificent life. He was 69.

After serving in the Navy in Vietnam, John was instrumental in the 1969-70 Alcatraz Occupation by the Indians of All Tribes. Alcatraz jump-started the Native Rights Movement. He went on to be a founder of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and became its only Chairman.

There is so much more. I’ve barely touched on all of John’s Gaian activism. Suffice to say the world is a far better place because of John Trudell. He touched the hearts of thousands.  An autobiography is in the works.

Coyote to the end, John had someone make one final post to his Facebook page yesterday afternoon after he passed.

It read, simply:

“My ride showed up”

“Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life”


5 responses to “Rest in Power and Our Loving Embrace: John Trudell February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2015

  1. mr. wd wanted me to post this to honor john’s wife.

  2. Thank you, wd. My hope is that John’s spirit is already out there somewhere in the the stars and that he has found Tina and his family out there waiting to greet him home.
    I feel good for John that he is finally free from a painful life on this planet. What I grieve for is this world who has lost a powerful warrior for Truth when we need those kinds of lives so badly.
    Thank you , John we have loved you well.

  3. lovely thoughts, mr. wd; thank you. he told the stories we needed to hear, and began to heal himself along the way, as well.

    indian country news included this is his obituary concerning life after the fire:

    ““I didn’t even know what reality was… then these lines came into my head and something said don’t stop writing. I started to write my lines, they’re called poems but in reality they are lines for me to hold onto, my hanging-on lines, it was real to me, it was a parting gift from Tina. Whatever happens just follow the writing and I might be able to find some kind of center. Whatever my future is… to see how long I get to participate… she gave me the lines to follow… so I won’t fall completely… that feeling of falling apart, it doesn’t go away.”

    – John Trudell, from the 2005 Heather Rae documentary, “Trudell.”

    ‘hanging on lines’; whooosh. i’d imagine that all of us burning sweetgrass and sage for him will help whisk him into the light.


    A true fire never goes out, for it’s smoke rises upon the air and fills the world with it’s truth, Brother John found his ride but left us with his wisdom and knowledge and that can never be taken for us…Blessings to you my brother as you take your place by the fire of our ancestors. Whispering Raven Thundering mountain

  5. thanks so much for coming by to honor him, my friend. you’ve done me quite a favor, as well. i’ve been featuring both john and buffy again recently in comment streams over yonder at C99%, and i’d been trying to find that photo of them together to no avail. and look: i’ve had it all this time!

    what a remarkable body of work and wisdom he left us! and in your honor, i’ll bring the last thing he’d recorded before his ride came for him. time dreams with quiltman and the pines… sail on, brother john.

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