[Ppnews] Leonard Peltier to the climate conference attendees (Bolivia)

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 20 10:34:35 EDT 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Peltier to the climate conference attendees (Bolivia)

April 20, 2010

My warmest regards to our host, Bolivian President Evo Morales.

To Presidents Rafael Correa, Daniel Ortega, Hugo 
Chavez, and other esteemed Heads of State; 
national representatives; and all concerned 
citizens in attendance at the People’s Conference 
on Climate Change: I send warm greetings and thank you for your participation.

Today, environmentalists are often portrayed as 
marginal intellects and labeled “lunatic fringe,” 
rather than progressive thinkers with the ability 
to foresee the true cost of destructive corporate 
practices. I applaud your intent to ignore your 
detractors and admire your efforts to refine the 
proposals from the Copenhagen meetings­in 
particular, towards the creation of a world 
tribunal for climate issues and a global 
referendum on environmental choices. I know the 
calculus of this work is difficult to solve. 
Listening to the voices of so many to create a 
common solution is a unique and difficult 
challenge, but also a special opportunity. I offer prayers for your success.

My name is Leonard Peltier. I am a citizen of the 
Dakota/Lakota and Anishinabe Nations of North 
America. Like many of you, I am a tribal person. 
As Aboriginal peoples, we have always struggled 
to live in harmony with the Earth. We have 
maintained our vigilance and bear witness to a 
blatant disregard for our planet and sustainable 
life ways. We’ve seen that the pursuit of 
maximized profits through globalization, 
privatization, and corporate personhood has 
become a plague that destroys life. We know that 
it is not only the land that suffers as a result 
of these practices. The people most closely 
associated with the Earth suffer first and most.

The enormous pressures of corporate profits have 
intruded on our tribal lands, but also on our 
ancient cultures­even to the extent that many 
Indigenous cultures have virtually disappeared. 
Just as our relatives in the animal kingdom are 
threatened, many more cultures are on the brink of extinction.

In America, we are at ground zero of this war for 
survival and most often have been left with no 
mechanism to fight this globalization monster. On 
those occasions when we are forced into a 
defensive posture, we are disappeared, tortured, 
killed, and imprisoned. I myself have served over 
34 years in prison for resisting an invasion 
intent on violating our treaties and stealing our 
land for the precious resource of uranium. The 
same desire for uranium has decimated and 
poisoned the Diné Nation of Arizona and New 
Mexico. The quest for land for dumping and hiding 
the toxic waste from various nuclear processes 
has caused a war to be waged on the Shoshone 
people of Nevada, as well. These are just a few 
examples of what “progress” has meant for our 
peoples. As many can attest, the same struggle is 
occurring throughout Central and South America. 
While my defense of my tribal lands made me a 
political prisoner, I know I’m not at all unique. 
This struggle has created countless other 
prisoners of conscience­not to mention prisoners 
of poor health and loss of life way, as well as victims of guilt and rage.

To live as we were meant to live is our first 
right. To live free of the fear of forced 
removal, destroyed homelands, poisoned water, and 
loss of habitat, food sources, and our overall 
life way is our righteous demand. We, therefore, 
continue our struggle to survive in the face of 
those who deny climate change and refuse to curb corporate powers.

It is time for all our voices to be heard.

It is time we all listen, too­or else our 
collective Mother will dramatically and forcefully unstop our ears.

The Indigenous Peoples have been the keepers of 
knowledge and wisdom­long ago bringing forth 
foods, medicines, and other products from which 
the world population still benefits. The loss of 
our lands and cultures, therefore, is a loss for 
the entire human family. We are all citizens of 
Earth and this planet is our only home. What 
affects one, affects us all. We are all 
interconnected and our fates are intertwined.

We can indefinitely survive here, but only if we 
work together to adopt sustainable models for 
living responsibly. We cannot continue to destroy 
Creator’s work, or allow others to do so, in the 
belief that there will be no consequences.

I pray for a new age­a new understanding, 
consciousness, and way of being­a new path for all the peoples of the world.

Aho! Mitakuye Oyasin!

(Thank you to all my relations. We are all related.)

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier 89637-132
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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