Westerman (1936-2007) was a Native American musician, activist, and film actor. He was a member of the federally recognized Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (formerly Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe / Dakota Nation), which is based on the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota. He was forced to attend a Native boarding school where he met Dennis Banks, the future leader of the American Indian Movement. Like many Native Americans they were deeply humiliated and angered by this experience, being forced to cut their long hair and forbidden to speak their native Dakota language. His name in Dakota is Kanghi Duta ("Red Crow").
He first had a successful career as a country western musician and recorded a noted album of Johnny Cash songs. He later became more of a singer songwriter in the folk tradition and wrote and performed a number of songs on themes related to Native American experience, respect, and activist issues, such as "Missionaries" and "Custer Died for Your Sins". He performed and collaborated with many well-known musicians including Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Harry Belafonte, Joni Mitchell, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. In the 1990s, he toured with Sting to raise funds to preserve the endangered rainforests.
In later life he became a film and television, frequently portraying Native elders, such as George on "Dharma & Greg", Uncle Ray on "Walker, Texas Ranger", One Who Waits on "Northern Exposure", and Albert Hosteen on "X-files".