John Trudell, poet, activist for American Indian rights, dies at age 69 – In 2012, Trudell and singer Willie Nelson co-founded Hempstead Project Heart, which calls for the legal cultivation of hemp for clothing, biofuel and food.

Jill Leovy and Robert Jablon

John Trudell, then 25, speaks to reporters about a 1971 Native American occupation of a remote former Nike site near Richmond, Calif. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
John Trudell, a Native American activist who became a spokesman for American Indian protesters during their 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island — and whose personal grief-inspired poetry was celebrated by famous fans such as Bob Dylan— died Tuesday. He was 69.
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