(While browsing my WordPress Reader last night, I came across a blog post about Leonard Peltier and decided to do the same.)
When I had started looking into our family tree, it had been to find the background of my Grandfather’s family. We all knew he was part Native Indian, that was about it. No one could ever give me any answers. It was someone that blogs here at WordPress that told me that I should find Louis Riel (Be still my beating heart! He was the only reason I became interested about history in school. Back then, we were taught he was something of a hero, now he is a tagged as a terrorist. Go figure!) in my family tree that I got excited. It is through marriage, still…I’ll take it.
A few months later another wonderful gentleman (distant cousin) contacted me with over a few thousand names to add to my tree, (they never made it into the book) and mentioned Leonard Peltier (very distant but he is there!) was included in the list. I had heard of him and thought it would be a good idea to investigate. I decided to make a few chapters in the book I gave to Dad about some of the more well-known people in the family. Once I got started those few chapters ended up taking almost a third of it! Both good and bad. All of it interesting!
After looking into each person, I came to know more about Leonard and his case. I wasn’t there. I don’t know the truth. What I do know is that it merits looking into again. May 2015 be the year this case gets the attention it needs.
If you would like to learn more, there is a website called Free Leonard that has facts about the case. Here is a quip from that site:
- Leonard Peltier is an imprisoned Native American considered by Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, among many others, to be a political prisoner who should be immediately released.
- Leonard Peltier was convicted for the deaths of two FBI agents who died during a 1975 shoot-out on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Mr. Peltier has been in prison for over 29 years.
It doesn’t look like it has been updated since 2005. I could be wrong.
I came across another post from September (another WordPress blogger!) of this year that had links and facts about the case. These seem to be ones that are kept up-to-date. Go to Speaking With a True Heart to read more. A quip from that site:
“For those unaware of who Leonard Peltier is, there is a lot of information about him on the Internet but sadly some of the information is misleading. Very briefly, Leonard is a Federal Political Prisoner; he has been imprisoned for 38 years. He was arrested in Canada on February 6, 1976 for the killing of 2 FBI agents during the “Reign of Terror” on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Oglala, South Dakota on June 26, 1975. He was extradited to the USA on December 16, 1976. Leonard’s time in Canadian prison counts as being “in Prison”. Both his arrest and extradition were based on falsified evidence from the FBI during the Presidency of Gerald Ford.”
A quip from that site:
“He – and his many high-profile supporters, such as Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Harry Belafonte – say his extradition was illegal, and that his trial was unfair.
All of Peltier’s legal appeals have been exhausted and he has been denied parole. His next parole hearing will not be until 2024, when he will be 79 years old. Leonard Peltier is in failing health. He has said that he wants to go home to die.”
Like I said, I don’t know the truth. Something tells me this case should have another good going over. If you agree please make a post, a tweet or f/b blurb of your own and spread the word. Thanks! 🙂
Another great site and more about the documentary – Friends of Leonard Peltier. There you can also find many ways to bring support and attention to his case.