Vincent LaDuke

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Vincent LaDuke (* 1929 , † 1992 ), was an Anishinabe - Indians , who as a stuntman in Hollywood, in numerous Western movies and participated in later life under the name Sun Bear in the New Age as a movement medicine man worked.

In 1944, at the age of 15, he stood before the tribal council and indicted the leaders of the local government for standing by the decline of the people and the White Earth reservation in Michigan. In the following years he became a nationally active treaty activist under the name Sun Bear , who called for compliance with the treaties between the US government and a large number of Indian peoples. In New York City he met Betty Bernstein, a young artist from a Russian-Jewish family, whom he married in 1958. The couple moved to Los Angeles, where LaDuke worked in Hollywood as a supporting actor and stunt performer.

In the early 1960s, LaDuke and his family regularly participated in pow wows and founded a magazine called Many Smokes , which he distributed to activists and supporters of the Indian movements such as the predecessors of the American Indian Movement . In 1964 he separated from his wife and daughter, who moved to Oregon, and in the following years developed the first plans for a commune based on Indian spirituality. In the 1970s he and Wabun Wind founded the so-called "Bear Tribe", a community for people of all origins. He represented an eclectic version of Indian spirituality, which he put together from the traditions of different peoples. In the mid-1980s he left the film business and lived as a course organizer. His Bear Tribe gained a large following among white New Age enthusiasts, especially in Germany. It was recognized in Indian circles that he was gaining respect for indigenous traditions, but his teachings were criticized for selling unsystematic fragments of their culture to whites.

From the traditional Medicine Wheel of the northern prairies, he developed a symbol for the circle of the sun through the seasons and times of life. Against the resistance of the traditional Indian shamans , he made his visions public for all whites in order to give them a key to reconnecting with “ Mother Earth ”.

His daughter Winona LaDuke (* 1959) is an activist for Indian rights in his tradition and was Ralph Nader's candidate in the US presidential elections in 1996 and 2000 .


  • The medicine wheel. An astrology of the earth (with Wabun). Dianus Trikont, Munich 1981; Goldmann, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-442-21740-7
  • Buffalo hearts . Workshop edition, Baden-Baden 1981, ISBN 3-923080-00-X
  • The path of power. His way, as he told Wabun and Barry Weinstock . Goldmann, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-442-11801-8
  • Living with the force. A self-help book for living in the wild . Goldmann, Munich 1988, ISBN 3-442-11822-0
  • The earth is in our hands. A vision of our planet . Goldmann, Munich 1991, ISBN 3-442-30565-9
  • The medicine wheel practice book. Exercises to heal the earth . Goldmann, Munich 1993; ibid. 1997, ISBN 3-442-13237-1
  • The medicine wheel dream book. The Indian way of dream interpretation . Goldmann, Munich 1995; ibid. 1999, ISBN 3-442-21519-6


  • Joanne Pearson (Ed.): Religion Today: Tradition, Modernity and Change. Belief Beyond Boundaries: Wicca, Celtic Spirituality and the New Age . Milton Keyes and Burlington 2002

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Internet Public Library, Native American Authors Project (University of Michigan), entry: Sun Bear (accessed June 23, 2007)
  2. Claus Biegert : Donnervogelfrau , status 2011
  3. ^ A b Betty LaDuke: An Artist's Journal - Community , April 23, 1999
  4. a b Minneapolis City Pages: The Party Crasher ( Memento of the original from October 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , October 11, 2000 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Wabun Wind website