Leonard Peltier on the 40th anniversary of the Incident at Oglala


26 June 2015

Greetings to you, my relatives and friends.

This is the first time that my dear sister Roselyn will not be there for
me, but I know she is there in spirit as she has gone on her journey. I
have seen pictures of the gathering over the years and can still see her
sitting there under the trees with our relatives… I will always miss her
and be grateful to her for all she did for me and for our people.

This year I am most concerned with our children and the taking of their
own lives. This is very sad to me, as it is to you, and I know there are
many reasons for them to feel such despair and hopelessness. But I can
only ask and encourage all of us to double our efforts to show them love
and support, and let them know that we will always look after them and
protect them. That includes asking big brothers and sisters to look after
the younger ones. They are our future and have to be protected and to
learn to be the protectors. This is not something we can live with, we
need to all work to change this.

And this year it is even more urgent that we come together to protect our
sovereignty. There are so many issues to face and fight. We continue to
fight for our Black Hills and to stop the XL pipeline from poisoning our
water and our land, and I stand with the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota
Nations, and all people of like mind in this fight.

The destruction of our Mother Earth by the heavy and toxic Tar Sands oil,
fracking, gas and oil drilling and uranium mining is unacceptable to me
and to us. We are supposed to be protecting these things even as others
try to push us aside. I honor all of our relatives who are on the front
lines of this fight.

And after all that I have seen in these 40 years behind bars, I was still
shocked to see what they are trying to do to the Apache people at Oak
Flats. This cannot be tolerated. It is not only a blatant money grab at
the expense of a tribe’s Sacred site, but it is an effort to push us back
in the direction of termination by ignoring our rights as sovereign
nations. This we will not tolerate. Nothing is sacred to these people and
they will continue to try to bulldoze us out of the way without even a
single thought to our coming generations if we do not continue to stand up
and oppose them. We must be ready for anything or we will lose all that we
have gained in the last 40 years.

The continued use of racist mascots is something that we can never accept
as Indigenous peoples and we need to all continue to push to end that
racist practice.

As for me, time is something I have learned a lot about in these years in
prison. And now I can see that time is slipping away from me and I know
that if I do not get out under this President I will almost certainly die
here in prison.

I have been able to survive with the hope you have given to me and your
prayers and I am grateful for that support from all of you.

I continue to pray for the family of my brother Joe Stuntz and for all
those who paid such a dear price in those bitter times 40 years ago.
And I pray for the families of all our people who have suffered so much
and continue to suffer now.

I thank all of you for coming today and I know how hot it can be there.
And especially to all the runners and walkers I offer my gratitude.

I send my Love to the people of the Lakota Nations and to all Native Nations,

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse…


Leonard Peltier


letters of support can be sent to:

Leonard Peltier
USP Coleman I
P.O. Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521


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