Pearl Daniel-Means, film producer, author and Native rights activist, dies at 62

Announcement from Red Queen Media

Pearl Daniel-Means (Diné) has passed away at the age of 62.

Born into the Ashiihi (Salt) Clan of the Navajo Nation, Means was a film producer, activist, and author who spoke around the world—from New Zealand to South Africa, and from Ecuador to Finland—on matters concerning Indigenous issues, human rights, and environmentalism.

Her Lakota name, Iyoyanbya Izanzan Win, translates loosely to “Bright Light.”

Means walked alongside the late American Indian activist, author, artist, and actor Russell Means, as his wife, business manager, and collaborator.

In recent years, she served on the board of directors of several Indigenous organizations including Romero Institute, which works to confront the climate crisis. She was chair of the T.R.E.A.T.Y. Total Immersion Educational Endowment Fund from 2012 to 2020. In this capacity, she worked tirelessly in support of Indigenous culture, arts, education, and spirituality.

Pearl Daniel-Means has passed away at age 62. Photo by Marc Gerke was taken in Helsinki in May 2018.
Pearl Daniel-Means has passed away at age 62. Photo by Marc Gerke was taken in Helsinki in May 2018.

Means is co-producer of the feature documentary END OF THE LINE: THE WOMEN OF STANDING ROCK, about a small group of Indigenous women who establish a peaceful camp in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Means’ co-produced film premiered on Peacock on June 2.

Means is survived by her father, Ernest Wayne Daniel; her sisters, Patricia Rose Daniel, Rebecca Ann Daniel, Naomi Kathleen Daniel, Roberta Lea Daniel-Trotter; her children, Tessica Dawn Baca, Trista Cheryal Baca, and Brandon James Norwick (Alexandrea); her granddaughter, Arya Kaya-Pearl Robertson; and her life partner, Dr. Edmund Keli’i Paki-Silva, Jr.

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