Aho All My Relations,

     I want to once again wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year! We have an exciting new year ahead of us filled with much work and hope. For those of you who donated towards the travel expenses for my family to visit me during the holidays, I send you my deepest gratitude as well as that of my family. I can not find the words to express or convey to you how wonderful it was to sit with my family and enjoy my grandchildren's smiles and laughter. I hope to one day soon have the opportunity to share embraces with all of you, friends and relatives.

     On Saturday, January 21, I was told the following message regarding Enya, a 10 year old supporter who wrote and contacted the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee with the following message, " I attend an all white school, and the kids make fun of me because I am Native American. On Feb 6, 2006 I am going to wear my Leonard Peltier shirt to school. Leonard Peltier is not afraid and neither am I. I am proud to be Native American." The LPDC contacted Enya and Enya proudly told them that wearing the Leonard Peltier shirt is a Badge of Honor for her.

     After hearing Enya's message, I can tell you that if my incarceration has brought the feeling of encouragement and pride to our youth than I know that the 30 years of injustice I have endured behind bars have not been lost. This milestone of 30 years has forced me to look at myself introspectively. When I reflect upon the time I have been given on Mother Earth, I am often brought back to the vow I took for the survival of my people. I solidified that vow with my flesh as a Sun Dancer. As long as the Creator allows me to sacrifice so that my people may live, I will never back down. So long as Native youth like Enya rise against 500 years of oppression I will rise with them. I ask you to stand with us in the face of this struggle.

     Mitakuye Oyasin. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

     Leonard Peltier

"The Meeting"
Music selected and performed by Thomas B. Maracle, Mohawk, Iroquois Confederacy http://www.nativerenaissance.com/biography.htm

Messages to Youth from Leonard PeltierNative Village Home Page