[Ppnews] Leonard Peltier's Message to our Youth!

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 24 12:02:34 EST 2006

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This year will mark more than three decades of my unjust imprisonment.
Behind bars I have aged from a youth myself, into an elder. As an elder I
have become increasingly encouraged by the potential and promise of
indigenous youth from all First Nations. Today indigenous youth have greater
opportunities than possibly ever before in our peoples history. However,
these opportunities were not attained without sacrifice. They arose from
great struggle. They came from ordinary men and women; your relatives who
made extraordinary sacrifices. These warriors' struggle to ensure a better
future for generations to come can never be taken for granted.

I am especially pleased to hear of the rising numbers of indigenous youth
who are graduating from high school and entering institutions of higher
learning; universities, colleges, and technical schools. Other youth are
taking advantage of social programs that will assist them in each of their
respective futures. These are all opportunities that as a youth I could have
only dreamed of. Yet, even though we have made much progress and advances
for our people we still have a long path ahead to attain justice for First

I strongly believe that the first step on that path is to always be
conscious of our people's history. Irregardless of what nation we belong to
we have shared a combined history of struggle against a more than 500-year
long genocide. It has been a genocide focused not only on the death of our
relatives, but of our spirituality, culture, and language. All will be lost
if we do not honor our ancestors by learning about their sacrifice so that
the people may live. We must never forget our ways, our traditions, and our

Each one of you must acknowledge your capacity and ability to bring about
positive changes for our people. This is done not only by bettering
yourself, but by helping your brothers and sisters who have wondered off the
Red Road. I am deeply pained by the numbers of youth who have prematurely
lost their life to gang violence and suicide. It is just as troubling to
hear of those who continue to suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. I ask you
to bring your brothers and sisters who need guidance and medicine to our
ceremonies. It is our spirituality that has always sustained us as a people.

Throughout history there have been countless attempts to rob us as a people;
our lands, our history, our language, and our culture. However, they have
never been able to take our future from us. The future belongs to the
Creator only and it is the Creator who gives it to the youth. As a youth it
is your responsibility to honor all your relations, our Mother Earth, and
the Creator by committing yourself to the struggle for a future of justice
and a better tomorrow for all peoples.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Please click on the following to go directly to the Native Village website:

.htm>  to Youth from Leonard Peltier

  For further information please see: www.nativevillage.org

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