Message to Youth and our
Young Male Warriors
From Leonard PEltier
Greeting my relatives,
And again I must say “my relatives” because we are all related in one way or another by natural design of the Creator or our common concerns for the Earth and freedom . I want to acknowledge another year gone by since my last statement was read to you and I want to again thank all of you supporters for your continued efforts to right the wrongs that have befallen both my people and me.
Being here in prison on its very best day is not good. The reason I say this is because I want to acknowledge that there is always someone in a more difficult situation than your own. An example which I will share is one day on entering the visiting room here, I saw a paraplegic in a wheelchair who had dropped the wand type instrument that he holds in his mouth and uses to maneuver the controls on his electric wheelchair. He asked me to pick it up for him, which I did. It also happened to be a day when I was feeling kind of down myself. After seeing this man, I felt somewhat ashamed and counted my blessings. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are free and can chose your destination from one place to another, whether it be physical, mental, spiritual or emotional, count your blessings.
I was looking through some of my stuff the other day and I came across a card that I had not finished writing in and had misplaced. It was a card to a friend in which I had written “always remember the Creator is with you even though you may not have noticed”. And I would like to impart that to you my relatives. I truly believe the Creator loves us and continues to provide for us but, we must also take responsibility upon ourselves to be part of that providing for ourselves, our children, our children’s children, and all future generations.
One of the things I would like to address, that I’ve read a lot about recently, is the high incidence of drugs on the reservation these days. Alcohol itself is a drug even though it is legal. But some of the new drugs combined with the alcohol, which is already bad, are becoming a major threat to the future of our people. I want to speak to the young men out there, or any of the men, reminding them that in order to be a warrior, or to have the connotation of a warrior, is not just about being a male, but being willing to take action against whatever enemy threatens our people. That action may be ceremonial, it may be fasting on some level, praying on some level, it may be a physical endeavor on some level. But it is our responsibility on every level.
In the 70’s, when I was free of this prison, there were in reality, only about 20-30 dedicated warriors throughout the United States who were full time and committed. Our principle statement to our people was sovereignty, unity, and brotherhood. Those were the seeds of concern that were sown. And today you see all across the world, native people standing up in some way for smoke shops, casinos, programs, and so forth as a result of a few dedicated people. So I have no doubt that the progress that was made by those people in the 70’s can be made again by the young people of today. Our personal reference points in life aren’t necessarily the same but our cultural, historical, and spiritual reference is.
I want to say again:
We are of this part of Mother Earth. We are the First People. Let us not let them put us last.
That brings me to a statement that I once heard Buffy Saint Marie make. She said, “if you go to a restaurant and what you want isn’t on the menu, go to another restaurant. And if what you want isn’t on that menu, mix up a batch of your own and prepare to serve”. In quoting her, I would like to say, that as warriors, if we assess the situation correctly, and with a good heart, using the values the Great Spirit has given us, chose a path, others will follow.
Aho Mitakuye oyasin.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Join Native Village in Leonard's
To our Youth:
Leonard would love to hear from you and answer your questions. You can send a card or message to:
Leonard Peltier # 89637-132
PO BOX 1000
Lewisburg PA 17837
Boy in yellow: US Census Bureau
Young Native Man and youth: amideast.org
Messages to Youth from Leonard PeltierNative Village Home Page