Published on June 14, 2014 by Amy
Richard Twiss (June 11, 1954 – February 9, 2013) was a Native American educator and author. He was a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate. He was the Co-Founder and President of Wiconi International (Wee-choe’-nee is Lakota for “life”).
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In 1972, Twiss was a participant in the forced occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Building in Washington, D.C., with the radical political group, the American Indian Movement or “AIM.” Twiss later became a Christian minister, author, and public speaker.
His vision was, “Serve as a bridge builder and consultant, nationally and internationally, to develop understanding, respect and mutual appreciation for one another, especially among Native American/First Nations people.”
He and his wife Katherine (married 1976), had four grown sons, and they resided in Vancouver, Washington since 1981.
On February 6, 2013, Twiss suffered a major heart attack in Washington, D.C. He died on February 9, with his wife and sons at his side.
Richard’s father, Franklin “Buster” Twiss was an enrolled member of the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota. He was a SFC Army veteran, was born on May 7, 1927. He died on August 17, 1999 in Hot Springs and was buried on August 23, 1999 at Black Hills National Cemetery.
His mother, Winona LaPointe is from the Sicangu Lakota from the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She was born Winona M. Larvie from Norris, South Dakota on the Rosebud Reservation. She attended the St. Francis Indian Mission School as a young girl through high school graduation.
Twiss was a Board Member of the Christian Community Development Association, founded by John M. Perkins in 1989.
Richard earned a doctorate in Inter-Cultural Studies (cultural anthropology, primal and folk religions and the history of Christian mission) from Asbury Theological Seminary.