the few times I saw Floyd around Santa Fe he always looked really elegant, almost dapper, filled with the wisdom of having been around the block a few times. I regret I never got to talk to him, but may he find happiness in the afterlife.
Dec. 13, 2007 - Renowned musician, activist, and elder, Floyd Red
Crow Westerman passed on to the spirit world at 5:00 a.m. PST this
morning at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after an extended
illness and complications from Leukemia as reported today by the
Native American Times and News From Indian Country.
Floyd Red Crow Westerman participated and performed in the First
Annual Native American Music Awards in 1998, was the recipient of
NAMA's Living Legend Award in 2002, and was recently awarded Best
Country Recording for his recording, "A Tribute To Johnny Cash" at
the Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards in October 2006.
With music as his first love, Westerman left his home on the Lake
Traverse reservation in South Dakota with a suitcase and an old
guitar as a young man. He traveled across the country playing country
music and his own original songs.
In 1969, he signed his first recording contract and released his
first album, the highly acclaimed, "Custer Died for Your Sins" which
captured the Indian movement's pathos and ethos during its formative
years. In 1970 he released his second recording, "Indian Country".
As a member of the American Indian Movement, and spokesman for the
International Indian Treaty Council, he traveled around the world to
improve social conditions for indigenous peoples. In 1982, he
reflected those sentiments in his third recording, "This Land Is Your
In 1996, he attended the first Native American Music Awards and
performed with Joanne Shenandoah in a tribute performance for Hall of
Fame Inductee, the late Buddy Red Bow.
In 2002 he was awarded the NAMA Living Legend Award at the Fifth
Annual Native American Music Awards with Keith Secola accepting on
In 2006, he was won Best Country Recording at the Native American
Music Awards for his last full length recording, "A Tribute To Johnny
Cash" released by Henhouse Studios.
During his music career and before his entrance into many films and
television shows, he played and collaborated with a number of notable
musicians, including; Willie Nelson, Kris Kristopherson, Buffy St.
Marie, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelsonm Jackson Browne, Harry Belafonte,
Westerman's film and television appearances include the role of the
Shaman for Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's "The Doors" and a Ten Bears
in "Dances With Wolves" His television roles have included playing
Uncle Ray on "Walker, Texas Ranger", One Who Waits, on "Northern
Exposure" and multiple appearances as Albert Hosteen on the "X-Files".
Westerman has received numerous other awards including; a
Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition, the Award for
Generosity by the Americans for Indian Opportunity, Cultural
Ambassador by the International Treaty Council, Lifetime Achievement
from the City of Los Angeles and the Integrity Award from the Multi-
Cultural Motion Picture Association.
The Native American Music Awards has been honored by Floyd Red Crow
Westerman's participation and contributions over the years and he
will always be remembered with great fondness, admiration and respect.
The Native American Music Awards & Association