[Ppnews] Leonard Peltier Statement for 2010 USSF

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 25 07:03:53 EDT 2010



LEONARD PELTIER: STATEMENT FOR THE OPENING CEREMONY
U.S. SOCIAL FORUM-DETROIT
June 22, 2010

Welcome to the traditional lands of my people, 
the Anishinabe. Greetings, my brothers and 
sisters. Greetings also to my relations from the 
many different Indigenous Nations who now call 
this place “Home.” Thank you for your warm welcome.

Hello to all the people of conscience in 
attendance at the US Social Forum. Thank you for 
taking the time and expense to attend an event 
that people will talk about for years to come. I 
know if you focus and believe, this event can be 
a major step in the development of a new 
society—one that turns away from fossil fuels, 
war and the rampant destruction of our universal 
home and, instead, focuses on the betterment of 
all... as opposed to the enrichment of a select few.

I ask that you work this week, in particular, 
toward full recognition of the Rights of 
Indigenous Peoples as an essential component of a 
just and honorable U.S. human rights policy. As 
many of you may know, the UN Declaration on the 
Rights of Indigenous Peoples was developed over 
many years with the participation of thousands of 
Indigenous Peoples. It is consistent with human 
rights principles as contained in international 
law, as well as the U.S. Constitution. And, yet, 
two nations with the largest Indigenous 
populations—Canada and the United States—have 
failed to endorse the Declaration. We call upon 
the United States government to finally endorse 
the Declaration in its entirety—without 
qualifications or exceptions—and to work in full 
partnership with Indigenous Peoples, Tribal 
governments and Nations to ensure its implementation.

I am Leonard Peltier, an American Indian 
political prisoner who fought against some of the 
same ideas and mechanisms many of you are 
fighting against today. Perhaps it was in a 
different way and a different time, but many 
years ago we were warning against the very 
realities many of you face today. The energy 
companies were raping Indian Country years 
ago—long before the oil spills, the mining 
disasters, and the poisoned waters America has 
come to know so well. So perhaps you can spare a 
few minutes to listen to the admonitions of an 
old man, an old warrior whose wisdom has come at a very high price.

I encourage you to find unity in your various 
causes, because all of your struggles are linked. 
Actually, you don’t just find unity, you create 
it—each of you individually. Create unity within 
your specific organizations. And between them. 
Link your efforts and find ways to network and maximize those efforts.

Making change has never been more important. Make 
the most of every second, for time is growing 
short, as so many prophecies have foretold. 
Educate others about the realities you are 
struggling for and against. Especially focus on 
educating the young people who will further your 
efforts tomorrow. Know that your sensibilities 
are a gift from Creator intended to wake up and 
shake up the world so that we may improve how we 
treat the Earth and each other.

We Indian people like to say “we are all 
related”. I pass that truth on to you now. Each 
and every one of you and the work you are doing 
are related. Let that be your greeting between 
groups and persons, as well as an ethic—the very 
spirit of what gatherings like this are intended 
to be. Practice thinking and saying it until it 
is automatic. We are all related, so put aside 
whatever differences you may have and make 
solidarity a new and constant reality. Remember, 
this is not your struggle. It is for everyone.

I thank you for taking the time to remember an 
old activist and perhaps learn from the 
experiences of another people from another time.

Now go out and change the world! Make it a place 
you’ll be proud to hand to the next seven generations!

Doksha.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,


Leonard Peltier



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