Wallace Black Elk (1921-2004), a traditional Lakota Elder and Spiritual Interpreter, was a Channupa (sacred pipe) bearing descendent of the legendary Nicholas Black Elk whose visionary experiences were recounted in the book Black Elk Speaks. Grandfather Black Elk was born and raised on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and was trained since childhood in the sacred ways of his people. He passed away on January 25, 2004 at his home in Denver, Colorado.
Black Elk is known and loved around the world and will be missed by many. A great soul and a champion of truth, he carried a message of peace and unity to all who would listen. He is also the bestselling author of Black Elk: The Sacred Ways of a Lakota.
One of the original spiritual advisors to the American Indian Movement, Black Elk was present at the occupation of Wounded Knee and was instrumental in the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978.
An international lecturer, Black Elk taught traditional Lakota spiritual ways of life throughout the U.S., France, Germany, Switzerland, Egypt, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Australia. As a Native American representative to the United Nations, he addressed United Nations meetings in New York and the International Non-Governmental Organizations Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Black Elk will be remembered by all who were touched by his wisdom.