'He was a survivor of everything that the government has tried to do to Native Americans.'
That description might have sufficed for white audiences, but all across America and everywhere in the Western Hemisphere the film was shown, American Indians were mesmerized by Floyd Westerman in his role as Ten Bears. As much shining authenticity as could be crammed into his role, Floyd delivered. There was no doubt he led his people, and there was no doubt the child who came to learn was the white man. To Indian people, Kevin Costner played a side role to Floyd's magnificent performance.
But magnificence in life was definitely not the attitude of Floyd Westerman the person. Recently he said when commenting on his work: "Our struggle is all about our spiritual rights and the Indian point of view ... they're so old, they make the Bible look like it was recently written."