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"My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it's far too late--see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. Your own treaty, the one between yourselves and the government, is being violated daily; this treaty is commonly known as the Constitution."

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Leonard Peltier

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Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier is a carpenter, welder, and American Indian Movement (AIM) leader whose imprisonment since 1977 is considered a human-rights violation by such organizations as Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Rev. Jesse Jackson, amongst many others.

In 1975, during the FBI surveillance that followed the 1973 AIM occupation of Wounded Knee, two federal agents were shot dead at South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation. Peltier was convicted of their murders and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, despite the prosecution's misconduct and admission of false evidence, and the fact that no witnesses linked Peltier to the crime.

His incarceration continues to draw international attention. Peltier, a member of the Anishinabe (Ojibwa) and Lakota nations, writes, paints, and organizes from behind bars.

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