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News :: Human Rights
Leonard Peltier statement from federal prison-Indigenous Peoples Day-Oct. 8,2012
09 Oct 2012
Statement on Indigenous Peoples Day
(Columbus Day the imperialists call it)
by Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier.
leonard peltier 3.jpg
Statement on Indigenous Peoples Day
(Columbus Day the imperialists call it)
by Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier.


Greetings my relatives and friends, supporters!

I know I say this same line all the time but in reality you all are
my relatives and I appreciate you. I cannot say that enough. Some
of our people, as well as ourselves have decided to call today
Indigenous Day instead of Columbus Day and it makes me really think
about how many People who still celebrate Columbus, a cruel,
mass murderer who on his last trip to the Americas, as I have
read, was arrested by his own people for being too cruel. When you
consider those kinds of cruelty against our People and his status,
it makes you wonder to what level he had taken his cruelty. In all
of this historical knowledge that is available people still want
to celebrate and hold in high esteem this murderer.

If we were to celebrate Hitler Day, or Mussolini Day, or some other
murderer and initiator of violence and genocide, there would be
widespread condemnation. It would be like celebrating Bush Day
in Iraq. It's kind of sad to say that even mentioning Columbus in
my comments gives him more recognition that he should have. So I
agree wholeheartedly with all of you out there that have chosen
to call this Indigenous Day. If I weren't Native American or as
some of have come to say - Indigenous, I would still love our ways
and cling to our ways and cherish our ways. I see our ways as the
way to the future, for the world. Where as I and others have said
over and over, and our People before us, this earth is our Mother.
This earth is life. And anything you take from the earth creates
a debt that is to be paid back at some time in the future by someone.

In speaking of our ways I can't help but think of times that our
sweat lodge that I feel that we could be anywhere, that we are with
the Indigenous People, in that time, those moments in our prayers
and in our hearts there is no distance between us. I am no longer in
a prison in Florida. I can be on the prairie in South Dakota or in a
lodge in British Columbia or in a lodge in South America. Or even with
some of my children in a family lodge. We all need to be thankful for
what we have but we cannot afford to forget what has been taken from
us. There is no amount of freedom that I could personally receive
that would be restitution enough for what they have taken from me.
But if in some way my incarceration and sacrifices for our People
who came before me and throughout our Indigenous history serves
as a pathway to a brighter future, a healthier earth, and for life
of all mankind; if it would bring us together to be of one mind in
protecting the future of our People, our children, and all the future
generations upon the earth, then it will have been well worth it.

Indigenous Day should become a way of life that embraces all that
promotes life and not just a few days out of the year. If you're
standing or sitting or whatever with whoever lives around you, give
your loved ones a hug for me. Guard your freedom zealously. Rescue
Mother Earth where you can. Sweat often and know that this common
man, Leonard Peltier, will always be with you in the struggle,
one way or another.

May the Great Spirit bless you with the things you need and enough
to share.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, Osceola, Geronimo, Chief Seattle and
all those many others who stood for what was right and tried to
right what was wrong.

Mitakuye Oyasin.
Leonard Peltier


LPDOC - PO Box 7488 - Fargo, ND 58106
(701) 235-2206 (Phone); (701) 235-5045 (Fax) -
contact (at)

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PO Box 7488, Fargo, ND 58106
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