Sunday, April 22, 2018

Honoring Missing Indigenous People in Fallon, Nevada

Photos by Western Shoshone Carl Bad Bear Sampson


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Photos by Bad Bear Sampson, Western Shoshone

Article by Brenda Norrell
Censored News

FALLON, Nevada -- In a town with a history of racism and violence toward Native people -- Fallon, Nevada -- Native Americans gathered to remember and honor Indigenous Missing People, just across from the courthouse and police station.
Buck Sampson, Paiute elder, said, "Indigenous Missing People gathered at Williams Avenue and Main Street, Saturday.
"Good turn out this afternoon. Lots of powerful Prayers today, and the healing of some of the Women started today. They want to keep this prayer going everyday, especially for the talking circles and prayer circles in Lovelock, Fallon,  Stillwater, Wadsworth, Schurz, Pyramid Lake, Yomba, Reno, and Carson City."
"It was real spiritual and uplifting with good songs and singers, well represented by the American Indian Movement," Buck Sampson told Censored News. 


Copryight photos Carl Sampson, article Censored News. May not be republished without permission.  

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Thank you for your support for food delivery by O'odham VOICE Against the Wall

Ofelia Rivas, O'odham, purchasing emergency food for O'odham on the border. Photo copyright Jeff Hendricks
O'odham Emergency Food Delivered on Border by O'odham VOICE Against the Wall

Photos and article by Ofelia Rivas
O'odham VOICE against the Wall
Censored News
O'odham on the south side of the US/ Mexico international boundary are impacted by recent US Border Patrol restrictions at the San Miguel Gate, a traditional O'odham route.
Community members from Kom Wahia, Wo' osan and Kuwit Wahia are in need of immediate assistance. 
O'odham VOICE Against the WALL made an immediate appeal for assistance to purchase food and delivered it to the families. Thank you for the $200. that was raised. The food was delivered on April 19, 2018.
This effort will continue until a sustainable solution is made. The three communities do not have electricity, Two communities have wells with available water, one community does not have a well and needs to haul water. The water hauling truck has broken down recently. The communities need supplies such as lamp oil and kerosene and propane. Also household supplies such as soap, bathroom tissue, other hygiene supplies, and matches and batteries are needed.
O'odham VOICE against the WALL
http://tiamatpublications.com/
Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.
Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.


Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.
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Photo copyright Ofelia Rivas.

Copyright. Photos and article copyright Ofelia Rivas, Censored News. No portion may be published without permission.

VIDEO Indigenous Women Land Defenders at U.N. New York



Tokata Iron Eyes, 14-year-old Dakota, is among youths who first brought attention to Dakota Access Pipeline threatening Standing Rock. "We are the new generation."
"We are going to change the world."
"The only enemy that we have is ignorance."

"No one knows what they are doing right now, because they will hide it from us." LaDonna BraveBull Allard.
"We must empower ourselves. We have a right to live."

"It is about the right of our Mother Earth. It is about the Spirit of the Water."


"What is happening is ethnic cleansing." Michelle Cook, Dine' "We have all been lied to."
"We are not going to be lied to anymore."


"We are using and abusing the land." -- Kandi Mosset, Hidatsa, Mandan, Arikara, urging alternative energy. Corporations are not providing the alternatives the people are demanding.

Watch live below:

FEATURING:
Kandi Mossett (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara; Lead Organizer on the Extreme Energy and Just Transition Campaign with the Indigenous Environmental Network)
Michelle Cook (Diné; human rights lawyer)
Gloria Ushigua (Sápara; President of the Association of Sápara Women, Ecuador)
LaDonna BraveBull Allard (Lakota historian, member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and founder/landowner of Sacred Stone Camp, North Dakota)
Tokata Iron Eyes (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota from the Standing Rock Reservation; Youth Advisor for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe; Youth Advisor for Sacred Stone Village; Administrator for Last Real Indians)
Thilmeeza Hussain (Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives; WECAN Advisory Council Member; Founder of Voice of Women, Maldives)
Event moderator, Osprey Orielle Lake (Founder and Executive Director, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network, WECAN International)
ABOUT: As a result of the dangerous intersection of colonialism, racism and patriarchy, Indigenous women around the world are impacted first and worst by the effects of environmental destruction and a rapidly changing climate. However despite all odds and against great challenges, it is these very same Indigenous women who are rising up, challenging the status quo, holding a vision, and taking action to build the vital solutions needed for a just and livable future.
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International Panel, Second Panel on the Livestream

Mirian Cisneros (President of the Kichwa Pueblo of Sarayaku, Ecuador) "This struggle is about the women." "Those who began the struggle are no longer with us, but their spirits are with us." Mirian is speaking of the transnational companies, the extraction, oil, mining, and logging, endangering the Amazon. 
Thilmeeza Hussain (Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives; WECAN Advisory Council Member; Founder of Voice of Women, Maldives) She describes how climate change is impacting her island. "It is climate genocide."
Gloria Ushigua (Sápara; President of the Association of Sápara Women, Ecuador) Gloria said she is not afraid to fight Ecuador. Her people are being killed quietly in the Amazon. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

United Nations -- Criminalization of Indigenous Water Protectors


View the Report 

Indigenous Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline criminalization of dissent and suppression of protest

Article by Brenda Norrell, Censored News

NEW YORK -- Broadcast live from the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues event, LaDonna Allard of Sacred Stone Camp, describes how the youths at Standing Rock used social media, and ran across the country, and launched the resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline.

LaDonna, among those on the panel, describes the attack on Sept. 3, 2016, and how the water protectors were maced. She stood out in the middle of the attack dogs. "Blood was running from his mouth," she said of one of the attack dogs. "The young men came with their horses, and put their horses between us and the dogs."
She always thought the laws of the United States are just.
At that moment, she realized no, the laws of the U.S. are not just.
"I am really angry.  I watched some really good people get hurt."
The militia groups came, the military came.
They were shooting people, macing people.
Percussion grenades, water cannons.
"I watched very amazing young people stand up in prayer, ceremony and song."
The police engaged in military strategy.
Then, they brought in the military, attacking people, and they began the propaganda.
The newspapers carried the propaganda.
"That's when I realized money buys everyone's souls."
She said there is no law by these corporations.
"You don't have a right to build a pipeline outside my home," she said.
"Someone has to show me America is a just system."
Speaking of her Dakota ancestors, LaDonna said, "We never had a conflict with America, and you came and killed us anyway."
She describes how officials came to take her land.
"How many times do I have to start again in my home."
LaDonna said she knows the history of the land for 10,000 years.
"I have the roots growing right out of my feet."
"I will stand until I die there."
Indigenous Peoples are holding on for the world, she said of the protection for all liing things and Mother Earth.
"We want the world to live."
"There's no more time."
"It is now you must stand up."


Video above by Cultural Survival Michelle Cook (Dine’) speaks about Standing Rock! "We are asking for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission regarding Standing Rock...Media plays a role in the criminalization of Indigenous Peoples because it desensitizes people."

Michelle Cook, Dine' attorney and panelist, was among those who went to stand with LaDonna.

"We are going to keep fighting for justice," Michelle said during her presentation.
Michelle describes how she helped begin the Water Protectors Legal Collective, in an army tent at Standing Rock.
She describes how helicopters circled overhead, and there were children in the camp, with nothing more than feathers and prayers to protect them.
Michelle tells how water protectors are in jail, and some are waiting trial or sentencing.
Since Standing Rock, there have been 58 bills introduced to deny free speech and assembly.
Who pays for it? Energy Transfer Partners gave $15 million to North Dakota.
If we can not find justice in the United States, we need to go to the international justice system, Michelle said.
While at Standing Rock, Michelle received death threats, but the threats only made her more determined.
"We have also been going to the banks," she said, describing the divestment efforts of the financial institutions who invest in Dakota Access Pipeline and fossil fuels.
Now, Michelle asked how water protectors can seek help for post traumatic stress syndrome.
In the report just released, attorneys urge that criminal charges be dropped against water protectors, and there be reparations for victims.
She also describes the role of the media.
"We have to create our own media," she said, adding that the media has been compromised.
"We are threatened with extinction."
Indigenous Peoples are the ones protecting the land.
"That is who I am."
"We realized who we are."
Now, she said, "We need action."
Michelle said she is thankful for what has happened.
"It changed my life for the better."
"We are not going to give up."
"We are going to work harder."
The report, “Indigenous Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline: Criminalization of 

Dissent and Suppression of Protest,” makes the following recommendations:

  • Drop all criminal charges against the water protectors
  • Investigate, punish, and provide appropriate reparations for all human rights violations, including the use of excessive force and mass arrests in response to DAPL opposition; OR convene a truth commission with the indigenous representative institutions of the Oceti Šakowiŋ
  • Adopt a regulatory framework to supervise and monitor activities of extractive industries and energy companies, private security firms and other non-state actors to prevent human rights violations in regard to activities that affect indigenous peoples and their lands
  • Provide training to law enforcement and private security on best practices for managing peaceful demonstrations; the right to free expression and assembly; and indigenous peoples rights under international law
  • Implement national measures to protect indigenous human rights defenders in compliance with the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international standards to ensure the full enjoyment of their rights to free expression and assembly
  • Regulate/restrict transfer of military-grade weapons and equipment to local law enforcement
  • Direct prosecutors to seek proportionate penalties for protestors who violate the law
  • Reject or amend state legislation that violates the right to free assembly

Thursday, April 19, 2018:

https://www.facebook.com/CampOfTheSacredStone/videos/2077628722526155/


Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance and the Criminalization of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders

By Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy, University of Arizona
Event: Thursday, April 19, 2:45–4 PM
United Nations Secretariat Building, New York
(Room S-2725 BR)
IPLP is convening a panel of experts to discuss the criminalization of peaceful protest as part of United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The event is titled “Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance and the Criminalization of Indigenous Human Rights Defenders,” and takes place April 19, 2:45–4 PM PM at the United Nations Secretariat Building (Room S-2725 BR).
The event will feature leading human rights scholars and activists who will discuss the criminalization of indigenous activists and the need for protection of indigenous human rights defenders worldwide. If you are attending UNPFII, join IPLP for a critical discussion on the criminalization of indigenous human rights defenders worldwide.
The panelists for the event are:
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz (United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz is an indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. She is a social development consultant, indigenous activist, civic leader, human rights expert, public servant, and an advocate of women's rights in the Philippines. She was the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005-2010). As an indigenous leader she got actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007. She helped build the indigenous peoples' movement in the Cordillera as a youth activist in the early 1970s. She helped organize indigenous peoples in the community level to fight against the projects of the Marcos Dictatorship such as the Chico River Hydroelectric Dam and the Cellophil Resources Corporation. These communities succeeded in stopping these.
Elifuraha Laltaika (Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues)
Elifuraha Laltaika is the executive director of association for law and advocacy for pastoralists (ALAPA) and a law lecturer of Tumaini University Makumira (Arusha, Tanzania). He previously served as a Harvard Law School visiting researcher. He holds a Doctorate in Law from the University of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program. Elifuraha is an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) and a member of the Tanzanian national Bar association (Tanganyika Law Society). Mr. Laltaika has 10 year’s experience working on indigenous peoples’ issues, including as senior fellow at OHCHR in Geneva. He is currently employed as a Lecturer in Law in Tanzania.
Seanna Howard (Professor, University of Arizona, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program)
Seánna Howard teaches International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples and the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop. Professor Howard has been with the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program since 2006, representing indigenous communities on precedent setting cases before the Inter-American and United Nations human rights systems.
Carla Fredericks (Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder School of Law)
Carla Fredericks is Director of the American Indian Law Clinic and Director of the American Indian Law Program (AILP), which serves as the umbrella organization for Colorado Law's academic, practice-focused, and community outreach activities in American Indian law.  She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Columbia Law School. At Colorado Law, Fredericks leads a year-long clinic in which students have the opportunity to represent American Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals in a variety of matters, designed to ready students for the complexities of general counsel work. Fredericks is also of counsel to Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan LLP, where she focuses on complex and appellate litigation and Native American affairs, representing Indian tribes and organizations in a variety of litigation and policy matters.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard (Sacred Stone Camp Founder)
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard is a mother, Lakota historian, land-owner along the Dakota Access Pipeline route, and the founder of Sacred Stone Camp, the first prayerful resistance camp opened as part of the movement to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. By December 2016, more than 10,000 Indigenous people and environmental activists were camping in the area on and around LaDonna’s home. She has been a major catalyst and leader in the Standing Rock movement, which has become the perhaps the largest ever intertribal alliance on the American continent, with over 200 Indigenous nations represented. With most Standing Rock defenders now departed from her land - LaDonna remains as a ceaseless voice for her people, the Earth and the water - sharing her story and calls to action at platforms around the world as she continues to advocate for justice. Allard is an enrolled member of, and former historical preservation officer for, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Her people are Inhunktonwan from the Jamestown Valley, Hunkpapa and Blackfoot.
Michelle Cook (SJD Candidate, IPLP)
Michelle Cook is an indigenous human rights lawyer and SJD candidate at Arizona Law’s Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program. She is writing her dissertation on international law, indigenous people’s human rights, gender, sexuality, and indigenous transnationalism. She is a founding member of the Water Protector Legal Collective, the on-the-ground legal team which provides legal services to those arrested at the Standing Rock encampment.
Kanyinke Sena (Member, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights)
Kanjinke currently serves as Member of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations/Communities in Africa (Working Group). A member of the Ogiek indigenous community of Kenya, Kanyinke is a long-time advocate for inclusionary approaches to conservation policy and indigenous peoples’ rights in Africa. He currently serves as a Professor of Law at Egerton University in Kenya. Prior to his role as Member of the Working Group, Kanyinke served as chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues from 2013–14.

USA Rep Lies About Leonard Peltier at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues




USA Representative Lies About Leonard Peltier at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Letter to Democracy Now! by Tony Gonzales
Jean Roach, Lakota, speaks on video below
Censored News

I am Tony Gonzales, executive director with AIM-WEST.  I and members of our delegation that also include members of the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee are attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in NYC during April 16-27.

Today during the morning session after the NGO International Indian Treaty Council (AIM affiliate) spoke on the floor regarding political prisoner and human rights defender Leonard Peltier, the USA representative responded immediately without hesitation to the NGO statement.
USA Representative attacked Leonard Peltier at UN Permanent Forum
on Indigenous Issues. She also denied that the United States
criminalizes dissent. (Screenshot from UN Webcast by Censored News.)
The USA representative proceeded to verbally assault the NGO statement (written in part by Leonard himself!) and they flat out lied with their ‘fake news’ before those attending and the world community (UN webcasting) by fabricating a lie that Leonard Peltier is a ‘murderer’ etc.!  despite to the contrary (See in UN webcasting for Permanent Forum April 18 for complete details).


I seek your journalistic support by calling me at or AIM-WEST delegate Ms. Jean Roach the official representative for political prisoner Leonard Peltier for an update on our response (verbal scud) to the USA ‘fake news.’

Additionally, on Friday April 20 from 12-12:45 pm AIM-WEST will hold a press conference at the UN Correspondence Association (media zone) and will appreciate coverage by “Democracy Now” in support for Leonard Peltier’s case.  Help us to challenge and expose the ‘fake news’ emanating from the state department visa-vie White House!

The USA stepped into their own doo-doo with their reactionary stupidity.  Furthermore, we will encourage all NGO attending the Permanent Forum to also use this opportunity in unity to include support for Leonard’s compassionate release and condemn the USA ‘fake news.’  

You can help us, too, by exploiting this situation in Leonard’s defense/behalf.  It is evident the USA is in a desperate situation by resorting to fabricating lies and can’t take the tooth, er truth!

Additionally, It is common knowledge that Leonard is innocent of the charges against him (aiding and abetting) that even the federal prosecution has stated before a federal judge that in fact they don’t know who shot the two FBI agents on June 26, 1975, they can’t identify who was the shooter, and yet Leonard languishes in prison for 43 years now.

It is 2018, why is political prisoner Leonard Peltier still in prison!  We want Leonards Freedom; medical attention, moved closer to home (now 2,000 miles away), minimum security, and an immediate compassionate release!  Freedom for Leonard Peltier now!

Watch on web TV:
Regarding the USA responding to an NGO concerning Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier:

NGO: International Indian Treaty Council statement at 2:16:33 

USA representative responds to NGO at 2:35:09

(Bears Ears Monument-NGO statement at 1:05:15 

Watch at:
http://webtv.un.org/watch/5th-plenary-meeting-permanent-forum-on-indigenous-issues-17th-session/5772804133001/'


Statement by Jean Roach, Lakota


All my relations!
Tony Gonzales
AIM-WEST


Aho! All my relations!


Tony Gonzales
AIM-WEST director
www.aim-west.org

www.whoisleonardpeltier.info

AIM West Press Conference United Nations Permanent Forum, April 20, 2018



 
AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT-WEST announces PRESS CONFERENCE at UNPFII’s Indigenous Media Zone


                                                            You are cordially invited to attend report on, and live stream the PRESS CONFERENCE hosted by the AIM-WEST:

Date: Friday, April 20, 2018
Time: 12 to 12:45 pm
Location: UN Secretariat - Media Zone
On the occasion AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY

TOPICS include:
The longest held political prisoner in the world, Leonard Peltier, human right defender, has been held in federal prison for over 43 years for the death of two FBI agents which is well known he did not commit:  “We don’t know who killed those agents-nor do we know the role Mr. Peltier played.”  U.S. Prosecutor L. Crooks to Judge Haney.
The Tohono O’odham peoples and their reservation at the border between USA and Mexico are under intense political pressure to submit to the construction of a Border Wall by the Trump Administration including the increased militarization patrols and high frequency technology installations that are not acceptable nor welcomed.  
In California the desecration of sacred sites of the traditional lands of the Amah Mutsun tribal nation and the proposed sand and gravel mining at Sargent Ranch in Gilroy is being challenged by their peoples. The specific site is known as the Amah Mutsun as Juristac and is the site where Mutsun Bighead ceremonies were once held.  Bighead ceremonies were the most important ceremony of the Mutsun peoples.  There is a critical need to hold extractive industries accountable by a legal globally binding regime and with consequences for these violations.
In response to the growing water crises, the Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit will elevate the voices of indigenous peoples on water to the global level. Water is sacred and yet unsustainable development continues to be a threat to the life source of our future generations. Standing Rock North Dakota has shown to be a catalytic moment or wake up message about the extent that corporations have sought to control and privatize the precious resource.  This is the moment to step up and defend the source of life for the coming generations.
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS SPEAKERS:
Ms. Jean Roach:  International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, and Human Rights Defenders - www.whoisleonardpeltier.info
Mr. David Garcia:  Tohono O’odham Nation:  Trump’s militarization of the BORDER WALL
Mr. Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Nation:  Standing Against mining, extractive industries, on his homelands near coastal California.  amahmutsun.org
Mr. Thorne and Wakinyan LaPointe, Sicangu Lakota Nation, share about the Mni Ki Wakan: World Indigenous Peoples’ Decade of Water Summit. mnikiwakan.org
Mr. Antonio Gonzales, AIM-WEST director, and moderator for the event.  The AIM legacy of 50 years of activism has impacted the social fabric of American society today from the regional, national and international level.  The AIM 20 point program of 1972 is the driving force that serves as an inspiration for organizing at the grass-roots level.  The AIM is a spiritual movement that provides the cultural means to strengthen the youth in the struggle for total resistance to colonization throughout the Americas and beyond!  Aho!
For more information or details call 415-577-1492     www.aim-west.org

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Utah Diné Bikéyah Urges Protection of Bears Ears at United Nations

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“Indigenous communities all over the world, including in the United States, are seeking to protect our cultural landscapes. Bears Ears National Monument was reduced in violation of our human rights. If this action stands, it sends a signal that any protection of land sacred to indigenous peoples may also be at risk.” Angelo Baca, Community Resource Coordinator, Utah Diné Bikéyah, addressing U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.

Watch on UN WebTV -- Utah Dine' Bikeyah addresses United Nations in defense of sacred land, Bears Ears. Bears Ears statement is at 1:05:15 http://webtv.un.org/watch/5th-plenary-meeting-permanent-forum-on-indigenous-issues-17th-session/5772804133001/

Lakota Jean Roach Appeals for Justice for Leonard Peltier at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues


Jean Roach, who was present as a teen at the incident at Oglala, is shown here with Bolivian President Evo Morales at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues now in New York. Jean made an appeal for Leonard Peltier to the United Nations, and met with the UN Rapporteur with the Peltier Delegation this week.

Lakota Jean Roach Appeals for Justice for Leonard Peltier at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues



International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Agenda Item # 10 Intervention to the Seventeenth Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues April 16-27, 2018 New York City, NY


Mitauyepi, c’ante was’teya numpe c’iyuzape.

My relatives, I greet you with a good hearted handshake. My name is Jean Roach from the Mnicoujou Lakota Nation. I am a survivor of the 1975 Oglala Firefight for which Leonard Peltier is illegally imprisoned


We come to the United Nations today with prayers of HOPE and we are asking for International support for FREEDOM and JUSTICE for our Indigenous elder, brother and human Rights Defender Leonard Peltier.  After 43 years he needs to be FREE!

We are the Indigenous grandmothers and mothers of Turtle Island also called North America. For generations we are life givers and protectors of our families and elders. Our family circles live in harmony with our Mother Earth.  We are ONE with the land. Our “original instructions” from the creator is guided by the stars, we pray for Mother earth and her existence,. We are only guilty of protect our Mother Earth and our Nations!


Our brother Leonard Peltier has been incarcerated to prison for a crime the United States (US) has admitted to fabricating by presenting false information. They broke their own laws to ensure this attack on our sovereignty and to break up our families and our ties to our land!


Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that evidence used to convict Peltier was manufactured, coerced and falsified.  


Leonard said: “The FBI files are full of information that proves my innocence; many of those files are still being withheld from my legal team. During my appeal before the 8th Circuit, the former Prosecutor Lynn Crooks said to Judge Heaney, ‘…we do not know who killed our agents. Further, we don’t know what participation, if any, Leonard had in it’. That statement alone exonerates me, I should have been released, but here I sit, 43 years later still struggling for my Freedom! I have pleaded my innocence for so long now, that I will not argue it here. But I will say again, I DID NOT KILL THOSE AGENTS!”.


In November 2003, the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that “Much of the government’s behavior at the Pine Ridge Reservation and its prosecution of Leonard are to be condemned. The government withheld evidence. It intimidated witnesses. These facts are not disputed.”


 In 1975, on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation, Leonard and other members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) were asked by Lakota Elders to “help” their community to assert their “sovereign rights” to become an independent community from a corrupt, imposed tribal government.


 During this time period, known as the reign of terror, in the aftermath of the 1973 Wounded Knee Takeover, many traditional and AIM people were attacked daily and many killed because of their beliefs. These elders wanted change and were holding meetings to make these changes towards a traditional government and the right to worship in our Lakota ways.


 Leonard Peltier along with a small group of men, women, and children were at Oglala, South Dakota as guests of an elderly couple named Harry and Cecilia Jumping Bull when they were surprised by gunfire. This firefight, started by the FBI, lasted for several hours and one man was shot and killed. His name was Joe Stuntz who was a father of two children from the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in the state of Idaho. No one was charged for his death.


Two FBI agents who drove into the Jumping Bulls home in separate cars died as a result of their attack on the people living there.  Four men were charged with their deaths—one was let go, two were tried Darrel Butler and Robert Robideau and won because it was determined an act of “self-defense”—and that left Leonard Peltier to blame. The gross misconduct of the FBI, and BIA police also was cited as a contributing factor to the acquittals of his co-defendants. Why was he pursued so intensely when his co-defendants were acquitted on the basis of self-defense? Because the US wants to keep us busy, so they can extract minerals and other natural resources from our motherland. The idea is to separate us physically and spiritually from our land.


The elderly couple was not at home and enemy gunfire riddled their house with bullets. Had the group of Indigenous people been in the home, none of us would be here today asking for help because Leonard and all of them would have been massacred. Fortunately, the surviving group managed to flee.
           
Leonard Peltier was pursued by police before the firefight at Oglala and knowing he couldn’t trust the US court system, he fled to Canada.  The FBI agents were determined to have him extradited. They abused and threatened a Lakota woman, Myrtle Poor Bear, and forced her to be the “eye witness” and a so-called “girlfriend” in affidavits when she had never met Leonard.  She later wanted to tell the truth but was not allowed to testify at his North Dakota trial.


Last summer, Leonard Peltier had a triple bypass heart surgery because of the prison’s denial of proper medical treatment. He suffers from a prostate condition diagnosed two and a half years ago and is being denied surgery. He also has diabetes, an aortic aneurysm that could rupture at any time, arthritis in his hip and leg, and vision problems.


He has more than completed the two consecutive life sentences, yet the FBI won’t allow him to be released. According to 1976 law a sentence was considered 7 year a total of 14 years which Leonard served 3 times the sentence. This is torturous inhumane treatment of an innocent Indigenous man who represents all of us.


Leonard Peltier has been denied multiple requests for transfer to a Federal Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. Leonard is now a great-grandfather whose health and well-being deteriorates daily because of being confined without adequate medical attention, without natural foods and spiritual medicines.


The Bureau of Prisons Program Statement (5100_008) clearly requires that an inmate be placed within a 500-mile radius of their home, Leonard Peltier is incarcerated in Coleman, FL more than 2,000 miles from his home on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota.  Leonard Peltier is 73 years old has recently endured heart by-pass surgery and suffers from other health ailments. Among the US Bureau of Prisons considerations for transfer is the medical care of the inmate.


The denials are inconsistent with the Bureau of Prisons own guidelines and procedures for determining an inmates’ location or for consideration of reasonable transfer requests. The multiple denials of transfers as well as the placement of Leonard Peltier more than two thousand miles from his home, first in Pennsylvania and now in Florida appear punitive in nature due to the status Leonard has among large segments of Indigenous communities as a respected elder, Indigenous Human Rights Defender, and hero


We respectfully request the 17th UNs Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to appoint Special Rapporteur Ms Victoria Tauli-Corpuz visit the US to study the Department of Justice’s actions that are based on “racial discriminations” and “double standards” to investigate the case of Leonard Peltier! He’s the longest held Indigenous Human Rights Defender and political prisoner in the WORLD!  43 Years!


We ask the Special Rapporteur to make a personal visit to Leonard inside the US Penitentiary in Coleman, Florida, and to make a report  before the next 18th United Nations Permanent Forum session.


Finally, we call upon the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to propose to the Human Rights Council to consider initiating a research study on Indigenous Human Rights Defenders, such as Leonard, who are being held prisoners for defending their lands, territories and natural resources.


And also DEMAND Leonard’s Peltier’s FREEDOM IMMEDIATLY!!
WOPILA!! Thank-YOU.