He received his bachelor's degree from St. John's University, earned a law degree from the University of South Dakota, and has studied under Chief Eagle Feather and Chief Fools Crow, Sioux holy men. He participated six times in the Sun Dance ceremony.
He served in the Marines in Korea. He served as a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, flying 110 combat missions, receiving 8 Air Medals and 2 Crosses of Gallantry, and was recommended for a Distinguished Flying Cross.
- Reminiscences of Lorraine Three Legs, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, 1969. Oral History
- Red Cloud, Minneapolis: Dillon Press, 1971. ISBN 0-87518-041-8
- Mother Earth Spirituality : native American paths to healing ourselves and our world, San Francisco : Harper & Row, 1990. ISBN 0-06-250596-3
- Rainbow Tribe: ordinary people journeying on the red road, San Francisco: Harper, 1992. ISBN 0-06-250611-0
- Native Wisdom: Perceptions of the Natural Way. Minneapolis, MN: Four Directions Publishing. 1995. ISBN 0-9645173-1-0.
- Eagle Vision: Return of the Hoop, Minneapolis, MN : Four Directions Publishing, 1998. ISBN 0-9645173-6-1
- Nature's Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance with the Earth. HarperCollins. 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-075048-0.