FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
04 November 2011
Contact: Delaney Bruce, Legal Team Liaison,
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, PO Box
7488, Fargo, ND 58106; 701-235-2206, firstname.lastname@example.org
National Congress of American Indians unanimously
supports freedom for Leonard Peltier
During its annual conference this week in
Portland, Oregon, the National Congress of
American Indians (NCAI) unanimously passed a
resolution in support of freedom for Leonard Peltier.
An innocent man, Native American activist Leonard
Peltier was wrongfully convicted in connection
with the shooting deaths of two agents of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977.
Imprisoned for nearly 36 years currently at the
federal prison in Coleman, Florida Peltier has
been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty
International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 55
Members of Congress and others including a judge
who sat as a member of the court in two of
Peltier's appeals—have all called for his
immediate release. Widely recognized for his
humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize
nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter.
The NCAI has adopted resolutions on behalf of
Leonard Peltier in the past. In 1999, the NCAI
also supported the Assembly of First Nations in
Canada in an historic joint resolution.
"It's long past time for the healing to begin
between Indigenous Nations and the U.S.
government with regard to the Peltier case, as
well as other tragic incidents of the past. The
NCAI is eager to work with the Obama
Administration to work towards that end," said a
spokesperson for the Leonard Peltier Defense
Offense Committee in Fargo, North Dakota.
The Peltier case has been examined by renowned
author Peter Matthiessen ("In the Spirit of Crazy
Horse") and by a documentary film produced and
narrated by Robert Redford ("Incident at
Oglala"). Although the courts have acknowledged
evidence of government misconduct including the
coercion of witnesses, the intentional use of
false testimonies, and the concealment of
ballistics evidence reflecting his
innocence Peltier has been denied a new trial.
The power to commute Peltier's sentence of two
life terms rests with President Obama.
"Mr. Peltier is 67 years old and in poor
health. This is the very time for renewed
commitment and unity. We're very pleased that
the Indigenous Nations have taken this action on
Mr. Peltier's behalf and are actively involved in securing his freedom."
The Peltier resolution was unanimously approved
in committee on November 2 and presented in the plenary session earlier today.
Informed of the NCAI's decision, Leonard Peltier
stated, "This means so much to me. I'm grateful
for the support of my People. I thank the NCAI for their efforts."
To learn more about the Peltier case, visit
www.whoisleonardpeltier.info. Also view "US
Versus Leonard Peltier: Evidence of a Wrongful
Conviction. From the files of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation" at
Friday, November 04, 2011