Friday, November 28th, 2014. New York City – Yesterday, November 27th, was the 45th National Day of Mourning. It was dedicated to Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier.
The United American Indians of New England says “Add your voice to the millions world-wide who demand his freedom. Help us in our struggle to create a true awaren of Native peoples and demonstrate the unity of Indigenous peoples internationally. Help shatter the untrue glass image of the Pilgrims and the unjust system based on racism, sexism, homophobia and war.”
They add, “Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other Europeean settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression that Native Americans continue to experience.”
These are some pictures and videos:
Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier message, read by Bert Waters.
Bert Waters, Wampanoag, reading a statement sent by Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier at the 45th National Day of Mourning, in Plymouth and organized by the United American Indians of New England, Nov. 27, 2014.
Greetings my Relatives, Friends, & Supporters:
I was thinking about the national holiday “ Thanksgiving” the other day. I
won’t even go into what a horrible shame this American holiday is based
on. Instead, I will just let it remind me of the common bond I have with
all my brothers and sisters of the Earth. Even if Thanksgiving, the
holiday, is based on an incorrect portrayal of history. The concept of
being Thankful, is a universal truth. I mean, lets face it, being
thankful/grateful has been part of Indian Nations much longer than the
invention of a holiday.
I admit there are days in here when I find it very hard to be thankful, but
it does not take much to bring it back for me. Most days, I get cards and
letters from people all over the world, sometimes I can even smell the
soil, the pines, and sometimes even fry bread in the paper that is sent to
me. I hear stories of your lives, your troubles, your children, your jobs.
oh there is some word for what I am trying to say but I don’t remember it,
but I get a sense of* life* through all of you, and I am thankful for
that. I often want to reach out and help you sometimes. I would love to
come work on your cars or help you build sweat lodge, or even just mow the
lawn. I miss helping people and I hate asking for help, which it seems, is
all I do.
In here, I am able to focus on the simple things in life. You have no idea
how cool it is to just get a new pair of socks. In the last few months I
have really been feeling my age, and I am so very thankful for all the
support you have all given me. I won’t lie, it has been a rough time
lately, but I am hopeful that is changing.
My people have always had a deep and connected relationship with the Sun,
and I realized the other day just how much I miss the Sun. When I had the
Sun’s light upon me, I felt stronger. These walls hold out the Sun’s
energy, and it weakens me.
When you miss something, it is easier to be thankful for things you do
My friend and Spiritual advisor, Lenny Foster, visited me recently, and he
reminded me of some basic things I have to be thankful for. I have watched
him age over all these years too, and I am thankful for him and his
wisdom. He sang with me and prayed with me, and I felt a bit of the Sun
I guess my point is, that we can find the things we need in places we may
I can always pray, this can never be taken away from me, and through that
prayer, I can keep the Sun and hope alive.
And so, on this day, “ Thanksgiving” I will choose to be thankful and not
to celebrate tyranny.
I also want to pray with *and for* you.
I pray for each and every one of you, whether you support me or you do not.
I pray that your lives will be full of meaning and you will find new ways
I pray for your strength and that you will always stand up for the things
you know are right.
I pray that each one of you will find a way to protect our Mother Earth,
she is crying out for us to hear her.
I pray that you will listen to you inner wisdom and let it guide you to
make choices that will help each other, and that you will be examples for
those still learning their way in this life.
I pray that you will be present with the moments you have, enjoy the simple
things in life— like the Sun, The Dirt, The Air, The Water, and that you
would protect them as you would your own children.
I pray that you will look for opportunities to lift up your sisters and
brothers and not to bring them down.
I pray that you will grow and enjoy good natural foods.
I pray for you to savor the attention of your loved ones.
I pray for you to build productive bridges of peace with those you oppose.
I pray that when others make bad choices you help them find positive
I pray for understanding in times of misunderstanding…….
And yes, I pray very deeply and honestly that I can go home for a little
while before I cross over to the Spirit World.
I am with you always, and I feel your prayers too. I am always grateful
for your support, your love, your friendship, your letters and the contact
you give me with LIFE.
It is harder for me to physically see well enough to write letters these
days, so please forgive me if I don’t write you back. It is not that I
don’t want to. Know that I am often sitting and thinking of you, and being
thankful for all of you.
Your old, thankful friend, and brother.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Happy Season of Hope.
Where do the days and seasons go? It is so hard to imagine that Leonard
has been in prison for almost 40 years. We meet each “ holiday” season
with the cold, hard fact of yet another year inside concrete walls for him.
We are holding on to hope.
We hope that you and your loved ones are cozy and warm. We hope for peace
and balance on our Earth, in our homes and hearts. We hope for more healing
and less hurting. We hope that each of us will listen to our inner wisdom
and walk on the path toward the highest good. We hope that *hope* finds a
larger place in our lives.
Every year around this time, Leonard puts out a plea to help the youth on
the Pine Ridge Reservation. This year is especially sad as there has been
so much trauma and despair on Native lands. Did you know that the suicide
rates among the youth on Native American Reservations are THREE times as
high as the rest of the country? Infant mortality is THREE times the
national rate, and 1 in 4 infants are born with fetal alcohol syndrome—
only Haiti has a lower life expectancy rate than Pine Ridge.
The continuing tragedies, including missing women, suicides, poverty,
violence, and the consistent loss of hope, only represent the perfect
reason for us to stand beside you, and ask that we band together and lift
each other up.
This is more than a gift drive, this is a hope drive.
Imagine living in a trailer with several other children and no adults,
imagine it is bitterly cold, the roof leaks,-the top bunk is the worst.
Imagine trying to find hope when all around you there is depression and
dismay. Pine ridge is the poorest part of the United States. Third world
conditions exist right here in our very own country.
Native cultures, traditions, even our very languages are disappearing.
There is anger about broken treaties, promises, and spirits.
It is hard to find hope here.
This is a *wounded* part of the world. Let’s change that.
Ours is not a pity cry, it is a cry for hope. It would be wonderful if you
could send some gifts of hope and help to the kids on Pine Ridge, but it
would also be wonderful if you will take an active role in our future.
Let us all release our judgements and find love, hope, and support for
Leonard, and for all people who are suffering or are challenged in this
Let Creator guide your heart and show you a way to support someone who
needs it. Each of us have gifts to offer, and each of us CAN do something
whether it seems large or small.
We need not change the world to have a positive affect on others or our
We are so very thankful for all of you, all that you do for Leonard, your
support, your prayers and your hope.
We will issue an update soon regarding Leonard’s health and his bid for
Hold him in your prayers, hold out hope for his freedom.
If you would like to directly help the children on Pine Ridge Reservation,
Leonard encourages you to send gifts, toys, hygiene products, warm coats,
gloves, socks, new and unused items to:
Leonard Peltier Gift Drive
ATTN: Eileen Janis
P.O. Box 525
Crazy Horse Avenue
Pine Ridge, South Dakota. 57770
Blessings and HOPE to you all.
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