Leonard Peltier (born September 12, 1944) is a Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). More:

In 1977 he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for first degree murder in the shooting of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents during a 1975 conflict on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Peltier’s indictment and conviction is the subject of the 1992 documentary Incident at Oglala, a film directed by Michael Apted. Peltier has been identified as a political prisoner by certain activist groups. Amnesty International placed his case under the “Unfair Trials” category of its Annual Report: USA 2010, citing concerns with the fairness of the proceedings. His murder conviction has survived appeals in various courts over the years.

In 2002 and 2003, Paul DeMain, editor of News From Indian Country, wrote that sources had told him that Peltier had said he killed the FBI agents; DeMain withdrew his support for clemency. At the trials in 2004 and 2010 of two men indicted for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash in December 1975 at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, prosecution witnesses testified that Peltier had told them and a small group of fugitive activists, including Aquash, that he had shot the two FBI agents. Peltier issued a statement in 2004 accusing one witness of perjury for her testimony and being a sellout. The two men charged in the murder of Aquash were convicted.

Peltier is incarcerated at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, Florida. His projected release date is October 11, 2040. His last parole hearing was in July 2009; his request for parole was denied. Peltier’s next scheduled hearing will be in July 2024.

In 1965, Peltier relocated to Seattle, Washington. He worked for several years and became the owner of an auto body station. In the city, Peltier became involved in a variety of causes championing Native American civil rights, and eventually joined the American Indian Movement (AIM).

In the early 1970s, he learned about the factional tensions at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota between supporters of Richard Wilson, elected tribal chairman in 1972, and traditionalist members of the tribe. Wilson had created a private militia, known as the Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs), whose members were reputed to have attacked political opponents. Protests over a failed impeachment hearing of Wilson contributed to the AIM and Lakota armed takeover of Wounded Knee in February 1973, which resulted in a 71-day siege by federal forces, known as the Wounded Knee Incident. They demanded the resignation of Wilson. The takeover did not end Wilson’s leadership, the actions of the GOONs or the violence; at least 50 murders were reported on Pine Ridge during the next three years.

In 1975 Peltier traveled to the Pine Ridge reservation as a member of AIM to try to help reduce the continuing violence among political opponents. At the time, he was a fugitive, with a warrant issued in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It charged him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for the attempted murder of an off-duty Milwaukee police officer, a crime for which he was later acquitted.

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Comments

  1. Manuel aguilar

    PILAMAYA,NATIVE AMERICANS,OUR FEATHERS OR WINGS OF EAGLE LET US FREE ALWAYS,BRAVE NATIVES REPRESENT OUR ANCESTORS.MANNY EAGLE.Amen.

  2. Anton R.

    Zack and RATM woke me up to this back in 1994 ….my first exposure to the Evil Empire. Never let them take our Art, our Music and our Cultures.  FREE LEONARD PELTIER!!!!

  3. Louis Serrault

    Fan du chanteur Renaud c combat sont les notre sache quand France il y a des gens qui pensent à toi Léonard

  4. sharpen flat

    I have only seen the first few minutes of incident of Oglala and the FBI shows up in un-marked cars and start shooting?  That should have been all the defense the Indians needed.  They didn't know who they were.  Self defense.

  5. MamaBoots1111

    Clemency denied for Leonard Peltier yesterday…..Russell Means was right about Obama, nothing but lies.

  6. Fran Anthonsen

    Venom you are a blooming Idiot. The people were here first. Why don't you see how much further you can stick your head up your ass.

  7. Edison73100

    It's amazing that a group of people can steal a whole nation from another group of people who had lived on that land for centuries, kill their cattle, children, men and women denounce their religion and then put them on reservations, enslave another group of people to build their new stolen nation, then write a constitution as if it was theirs the whole time and not include in any positive way the people they had robbed and enslaved and expect their lives to peaceful and their reign to last forever.

  8. Jake Eagleshield

    Funny,is it not,that the white men who did the murders of native people that perpitrated Wounded Knee II  were never brought to justice.

  9. Steven Garrett

    what about the time they made the feds leave.this was the second war the feds lost after veit nam . its not in the history books they teach our children. the feds cheated you then they will cheat you now. red black or white they will take your rights.give the natives the national parks .that would be a start.let them be the keeper of the land.expand the reservation.its only right

  10. James Simon

    In case the truth matters, here are some truthful quotes:
    “This story is true.”
    Leonard Peltier, assuring his supporters that a mysterious Mr. X shot the FBI agents, with what his lawyer, Mike Kuzma, later admitted was a complete concoction.
     
    “Peter, you put my life in jeopardy and you put the lives of my family in jeopardy by putting that bullshit in your books. Why didn’t you call me and ask me if it was true?”
    Dean Butler, chastising Peter Matthiessen for including Peltier’s lone alibi, Mr. X, in his book, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Note: An AIM member, David Hill, reportedly played the role of Mr. X in a video aired on American television.
     
    “I seen Joe when he pulled it out of the trunk and I looked at him when he put it on, and he gave me a smile.”
    Leonard Peltier, standing over the bodies of Jack Coler and Ron Williams, moments after their heads were blown off, commenting on Joe Stuntz wearing Jack Coler’s green FBI jacket taken from his car trunk, as quoted in Peter Matthiessen’s, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.
     
    “I didn’t think nothing about it at the time: all I could think of was, We got to get out of here!”
    Leonard Peltier, reacting to Joe Stuntz wearing Jack Coler’s jacket, from In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Peltier could hear the chatter over the FBI car radio from other agents who were racing to the scene and attempting to re-establish contact with Agent Williams in response to his calls for help.
     
    “The motherf—er was begging for his life but I shot him anyway.”
    Sworn testimony attributed to Leonard Peltier, boasting in the Marlon Brando motor home about shooting Ron Williams, as heard by Dennis Banks, Ka-Mook Banks, Bernie Lafferty, and (soon-to-be-murdered) Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. According to the autopsy report, Ron Williams died with his right hand held up in front of his face; there were powder burns on his fingers.

    “The two witnesses testified outside the presence of the jury that after their testimony at trial, they had been threatened by Peltier himself that if they did not return to court and testify that their earlier testimony had been induced by F.B.I. threats, their lives would be in danger.”
    United States v. Peltier, 585 F. 2d 314, U.S. App. Decision September 14, 1978.
     
    “There is no doubt that Leonard put a loaded gun in my mother’s mouth during one of her interrogations in June 1975. Six months later, other AIM members orchestrated my mother’s murder. Although I believe Leonard knows who was involved, he still refuses to cooperate in the ongoing murder investigation of my mother’s killers.”
    Denise Maloney, daughter of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash

    “This story that the government has admitted they don’t know who committed the murders comes from an out-of-context statement from prosecutor Lynn Crooks. Let me tell you something, I know Lynn Crooks and there is no one on the planet more convinced of Leonard’s guilt than Lynn Crooks.”
    John M. Trimbach, author, American Indian Mafia.
     
    "… the greater probability is that you yourself fired the fatal shots… It would be unjust to treat the slaying of these F.B.I. agents, while they lay wounded and helpless, as if your actions had been part of a gun battle. Neither the state of relations between Native American militants and law enforcement at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation prior to June 26, 1975, nor the exchanges of gunfire between individuals at the Jumping Bull Compound and the law enforcement agents who arrived there during the hours after Agents Coler and Williams were murdered, explains or mitigates the crimes you committed…Your release on parole would promote disrespect for the law in contravention of 18 U.S.C…."
    Leonard Peltier’s 1993 Parole Board, commenting on his aiding and abetting conviction.
     
     “I never thought my commitment would mean sacrificing like this, but I was willing to do so nonetheless. And really, if necessary, I’d do it all over again, because it was the right thing to do.”
    Peltier’s statement to supporters, 2/6/2010.

  11. Kevin John Davies

    MY HEART IS SAD
    I CAN SAY NO MORE
    JOHN CROWDOG X
    FREE LEONARD PELTIER PLEASE SHOW MERCY
    MUCH LOVE

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