Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Trudell is the son of a Santee Sioux father and a Mexican mother. He grew up around the Santee reservation near Omaha. He joined the Navy in 1963 and served in the Vietnam war. After getting out of the military he became involved in Indian activism and participated in the takeover of Alcatraz Island. He joined the American Indian Movement and was its national spokesman from 1972 until 1979. In 1979, his mother-in-law, wife, and three children were killed in a suspicious fire, a tragedy that led him to poetry. A meeting with Jackson Browne in 1979 introduced him to the musical world. His first album was A.K.A Graffiti Man in 1986; more recent endeavors include Blue Indians (1999) and Bone Days.
Trudell has also worked as an actor, with small roles in Thunderheart (1992), On Dangerous Ground (1995) and Smoke Signals (1998).
Trudell the Movie
Filmmaker Heather Ray spend more than a decade making the documentary, entitled Trudell (2005). Her intent was to utilize Trudellís rich political and cultural life to create a relevant piece that reflected contemporary history and educated and inspired world citizens. This documentary will premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. documentary competition.
- 1983 Tribal Voice
- 1986 Original A.K.A. Graffiti Man
- 1987 ...But This Isn't El Salvador
- 1987 Heart Jump Bouquet
- 1991 Fables and Other Realities
- 1992 Child's Voice: Children of the Earth
- 1992 A.K.A. Graffiti Man
- 1994 Johnny Damas & Me
- 1999 Blue Indians
- 2001 Descendant Now Ancestor
- 2001 Bone Days (produced by the actress Angelina Jolie)
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