Back Cover Copy
NATIVE AMERICAN / BIOGRAPHY
“Louie was a longtime friend, comrade, spiritual advisor, and brother. He inspired me every day, helped me to survive in this nightmare place just by being my friend and advisor. I hope that his example can be a lesson learned by our People, especially our young. Those of us in the prisons, participating in the sweat lodges, pray for him and speak of how we miss his company. I have been blessed simply by being given the chance to know him.”
--Leonard Peltier, Native American activist, Leavenworth Penitentiary
“Two Ravens is an inspiring view of a contemporary Native American warrior. Louie was a builder of understanding between Native and non-Native Americans. To Two Ravens: it was an honor and a pleasure.”
--Valerian Three Irons, Sun Dance Chief
This is the life story of a remarkable Native American who learned to unite the paths of warrior and healer. Louis Two Ravens Irwin was taught the traditional healing ways of his Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arickara people by his grandfather, knowledge that served him well in his dealings with the hostile white society he later encountered.
After years of experiencing rampant discrimination and fighting in a white man’s war, he became a warrior in the fight for the rights of his people, working with the American Indian Movement (AIM) from its inception and taking part in the two-month siege at Wounded Knee. He joined the efforts of Leonard Peltier, Russell Means, Leonard Crow Dog, and many other prominent leaders to ensure that his people might live in peace and with respect.
Considered an outlaw by the government and even by many of his own people, Two Ravens also struggled against alcoholism and despair and with his own bitterness toward the white race. To find balance, Two Ravens had to walk the difficult road back to the Old Ways, to the teachings of the sweat lodge and the Sun Dance, which show the sacred relationship between all creatures. In doing so, he learned to heal his pain and anger and discovered ways to share his new sense of inner peace. In the years before his death, Two Ravens worked as a substance abuse counselor and spiritual advisor, helping others integrate Native American traditions into their lives in contemporary America.
LOUIS TWO RAVENS IRWIN (1933-1995) was Robert Liebert’s mentor for more than eight years. A writer and herbalist, Liebert is also the author of Osage Life and Legends. He lives in Ava, Missouri.