archie fire lame deer ( 1935 - 2001 )
archie fire lame deer (april 10, 1935 – january 16, 2001) was a lakota sioux spiritual leader, a medicine man and a lecturer and activist of lakota spirituality.
archie fire lame deer was born in corn creek, south dakota, on the rosebud sioux reservation. his father was john fire lame deer, a well known lakota holy man. archie grew up with the guidance and teachings of his grandfather, henry quick bear. he attended school at the st. francis indian school, but was able to run away at age 14 after many tries. he enlisted in the army twice and was a veteran of the korean war, a member of the special forces and a p.o.w.
among other temporary careers archie was a ranch hand on numerous south dakota ranches, a rattlesnake exterminator, a hollywood stuntman, a rodeo rider and a foreman on a hollywood ranch. upon giving up alcohol addiction in 1971 he also became a drug and alcohol counsellor. through the los angeles indian center he ran a program for native american offenders imprisoned in both state and federal institutions in california. archie was instrumental in bringing lakota purification ceremonies into prisons across the united states and also helped found and run the santa barbara indian center.
the last twenty years of his life archie fire lame deer has travelled throughout the world teaching lakota spiritual beliefs and way of life. in his travels he met and talked with numerous spiritual leaders including the dalai lama and the pope. in 1980 he also spoke in rotterdam at the fourth russell tribunal on indigenous peoples' rights.
for many years chief lame deer was the intercessor at the annual crow dog’s sundance on the rosebud indian reservation, just like his father before him. when archie passed away, his son john took his place as a chief and medicine man and carries on the traditions of the lame deer family.
archie fire lame deer was subject of the book gift of power: the life and teachings of a lakota medicine man, which he wrote together with richard erdoes.
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