political prisoners

Leonard Peltier


I cannot express the sadness and anger that I felt when I heard that my brother, Leonard Peltier was not given a presidential pardon from Clinton. At first I could not believe Clinton's lack of courage, but now I know that he is not an honorable man. Freedom for Leonard would have been freedom for all of us Indigenous People here on our own home land. I would like to know why Clinton did not give him his freedom.

Clinton came here to Pine Ridge in July of 1999. I thought he had a little compassion for the Lakota People and all Native Peoples of this land. Clinton broke our hearts and made us cry on January 20, 2001. We also cried for all of our ancestors whose lives were taken by the white man who came to this continent over 500 years ago.

We as Lakota People have four values that we live by every day of our lives. They are bravery, wisdom, generosity, and fortitude. Although Clinton didn't give my brother Leonard his life back, we must continue to be brave and continue the battle to bring him home. We must educate Clinton and all the US government officials about our culture. We as Lakota people have a form of government ruled by our sacred pipe and our laws are all natural. We must remind the federal government that we still have treaties with them.

We must be kind and compassionate to the US government officials because we were born with the gift of kindness, love and generosity. Clinton witnessed this when he was here on our homeland in July of 1999.

Our forefathers were all honorable men just like my brother Leonard Peltier. One of our greatest leaders was Crazy Horse. He protected and loved his people until he was killed in jail by the federal government. Crazy Horse asked us to remember him when we look toward our sacred Black Hills. We also remember our brother Leonard Peltier when we see the Black Hills. Some day Leonard will be singing Crazy Horse's praise song while looking toward the Black Hills. That's what keeps us going. We are all very resilient.

Although Clinton broke our hearts, through our prayers and our spirituality, we will survive. When we thought Clinton was going to give our brother Leonard his life back we had plans to build a Lakota school here in Oglala. Through Leonard's demonstration of our Lakota values, we plan to develop his dream and plans for the betterment of our people even though he is not here with us.

I heard one of our respected elders of our tribe talk on KILI radio about Leonard the other morning. He said although Clinton slapped our faces, we must remain strong and show them how to forgive and pray for them so they will understand us. He also stated that we should educate our children so they could become lawyers and help us in the future. At Leonard's school we hope to accomplish this. I would like to thank all of you for loving and supporting him. All he wants is to be is a terrific grandpa and a good relative. May God bless all of you.

Mitakuye Oyasin
All my relations,
Fedelia Cross

Fedelia Cross is the niece of Roselyn Jumping Bull and a survivor of the Pine Ridge Reign of Terror. She is a school teacher, a mother and a grand mother.


TRUE DEMOCRACY     SPRING 2001     Copyright © 2001 by News Sourse, Inc.