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John Trudell (born February 15, 1946) is an American author, poet, musician, and former political activist.
Trudell was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He 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 became the spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island. He joined the American Indian Movement and, although not officially voted in, was its national Chairman from 1972 until 1979 after Carter Camp went to jail. In 1979, his mother-in-law, pregnant wife (Tina Manning), and three children were killed in a tragic fire, an event that led him to his "hanging on lines", his spoken word. It is famously believed that his family was murdered by the government. A meeting with Jackson Browne in 1979 introduced him to the musical world. His first album, originally made with brilliant (according to Bob Dylan) Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis and originally available only on cassette tape, was A.K.A Graffiti Man. In 1992 he remade A.K.A Graffiti Man; more recent endeavors include Blue Indians (1999) and Bone Days.