Born on February 14, 1946, John Trudell is an American writer, actor and musician who became a spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes and chairperson of the American Indian Movement. Being born to a Santee Sioux father and a Mexican mother, Trudell was raised the Santee Sioux reservation where he learned about his native lineage and was inspired to fight for their rights.
At 17, Trudell quit school to join the United States Navy, serving during the early years of the Vietnam War. He left the navy in 1967 to attend college and major in radio and broadcasting. After graduating, he had a hard time finding work and this led him to pursue a career in political activism