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 Mother."
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 his behalf.
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, and Sting.
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.