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UW’s Means Compiles List of Recent Accomplishments Focusing on Native Americans

September 27, 2022
man standing in front of shelves with books and memorabilia
Jeffrey Means, an associate professor and head of the UW Department of History, has a recent list of accomplishments that center on the subject of Native Americans. (UW Photo)

Jeffrey Means, an associate professor and head of the University of Wyoming Department of History, has been compiling quite a list of recent accomplishments, with the focus of his work on the subject of Native Americans.

His recent accomplishments are:

-- Means has written a book chapter titled “Oglala Paths, Oglala Choices: Identity and Economics on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 1889-1904” in the book “Our Way: A Parallel History.” The book is coming out this winter through Fulcrum Publishing.

“The chapter focuses on a Lakota named Miwakan, or Hunts the Enemy, who later adopted the name of George Sword,” Means explains. “I use him as a vehicle to reveal how American colonization and reservation life created cultural divisions within the Oglala Lakota Nation as they were forced to choose between either economic resistance to, or adoption of, American assimilation policies that promoted farming.”

-- Means will soon make appearances on a couple of upcoming programs. He will discuss the history of Fort Laramie on the “History Hit” online TV program, and he will appear on the History Channel’s four-hour docudrama “Sitting Bull.”

Means says the focus of the Fort Laramie discussion will be about the complex relationship Native Americans had with the Americans inhabiting and traveling to and from Fort Laramie. For the History Channel program, Means says he has been asked to discuss Sitting Bull’s youth and the Sioux Indian chief’s relationship with Buffalo Bill Cody and the United States.

-- He also co-coordinated a TED-Ed titled “The Dark History of Mount Rushmore” with Ned Blackhawk, a professor of history and American studies at Yale University.

My TED-Ed discusses the Lakota history and relationship with the Black Hills and their perspective on Mount Rushmore,” Means says.

To watch the program, go to

-- Means was recently announced as a committee member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, having been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III. The committee is composed of civilian women and men who are appointed to provide advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the improvement of racial and ethnic diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity within the Department of Defense -- with a primary focus on military personnel.

The committee members will perform a variety of duties, including visiting military installations each year; conducting a review and evaluation of current research on racial and ethnic diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity; and providing an annual list of recommendations on these issues to the secretary of defense.

“Being asked to serve on the Defense Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is a tremendous honor for me both personally and professionally,” Means says. “As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, it is a privilege to be serving with such a distinguished group.” 

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