The story of Adam Fortunate Eagle, a contemporary activist, artist, author, ceremonial leader.
Contrary Warrior: The Life and Times of Adam Fortunate Eagle airs Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2). At the age of five, his father dead and his mother unable to provide for eight children, Adam and his siblings were sent to an Indian boarding school where he spent his childhood. After graduating from Haskell Institute in Kansas he moved to San Francisco and became a successful businessman and the "perfect" urban Indian - a poster child for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Injustices met by Urban Indians motivate him to become an advocate for the rights of urban Indians.
Eventually he became one of the principle architects of the American Indian takeover of Alcatraz Island in 1969 - an action that brought about social change. Because of this the government declared him an "enemy of the state" and he lost his business and virtually everything he owned. Forced to go back to the reservation, he honed his skills as a ceremonial pipe maker, sculptor, and author and continued his calling as a ceremonial leader and statesman for his people. Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Custer Died For Your Sins wrote, "Fortunate Eagle is one of the most outstanding Indian leaders of this generation."