Sunday, April 6, 2014

Statement of Leonard Peltier on the Passing of Peter Matthiessen

4/6/2014 8:34 a.m. The other day Peter Matthiessen came into my thoughts, I thought I better call him and see how he is doing. Since I knew he was sick, I did not want to concern or disturb him with my problems, as he had enough to be worried about. Today I received word from Indigo that my friend had passed on.

Man, I thought he was going to live forever. Peter was one-of-a-kind. Truly --ONE that will go down in history. He fought for the poor and the weary, the sick, and anyone who had problems that were brought to his attention. He took time from his own life to try to help them in whatever way he could. He ALWAYS gave freely when someone needed anything, fought for those who were being mistreated. I mean, this man's life was like a movie script. Not to mention the great books he wrote. Some of them are mind blowing. This man had the kind of talent that we may never see again. One story he told me was about his Grandfather when he was mayor (or was it governor) of N.Y.? He always had Indians hanging around the mansion so the conservatives and wealthy were always giving him problems about that; they did whatever they could to discredit his administration. These people made some very racist statements about him being an “Indian Lover” and so on. Native People need to know, we owe a great debt to this man, Peter Matthiessen. He was a very brave man, a true warrior. He battled HARD for us as a people. He fought tirelessly for my freedom.

He was one of the very few who did not care if his career was destroyed, which the F.B.I. tried to do when he tried to help me. Yes, he told me they threatened his career and even his very life. I know this to be true, and he was not the only one they did this to.

When he wrote his book about my case and conviction “IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE," the F.B.I. first tried to ruin his career by filing false, multi-million-dollar libel suits against him and his publishing company, also effectively BANNING the book during the lawsuits. When that did not work, they threatened his life and the lives of his family. In true warrior form, Peter told them to get off of his property. Peter told me “Sure I was concerned," but his beliefs in the Constitution and his belief in America were stronger than any fear they could put on him.

Others who were threatened and became afraid, burned thousands and thousands of copies of our book; yes!… in modern times they burned In the Spirit of Crazy Horse.

Governor Bill Janklow threatened all of the book stores in South Dakota to BAN the book. This is all just part of the thousands of pages of documentation that surrounds my case.

All I want to say is that it was a great honor for me to have lived in the same world Peter lived in as a human being on Earth.

Thank you Peter, for your brotherhood and love.

I believe we (all peoples) owe this man SO MUCH! There is so much to say about him as a human, a man, a writer and yes, he WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST forefathers in this century, of the Environmental Movement. WE should lobby for the highest award the United States can give to him. This should have been done before he passed away, at the very least from Native Nations.

He deserved an apology from the F.B.I who are employees of the American People.

We should lobby Hollywood to do a movie about his courageous life and his contributions to mankind, the wild animals such as the glorious Snow Leopard, birds, the fish, and the very earth we live in.

Hollywood needs some REAL heroes, not the fake ones you see everyday in movies. Peter Matthiessen was a REAL HERO.

Peter, if you are looking down on us; you can see ME as I'm writing this.
MY eyes are not clear and I miss you already.
I asked you in our last phone conversation to please not leave me here.
Wait for me. I know in my heart you tried.
I Love you and I will miss you terribly.
I will see you soon, my brother, as my time is coming.

To Peter’s family, please accept my deepest gratitude for every single moment Peter gave to me, that you as a family sacrificed for me, fought for me and worked so diligently all these years for myself and my people. My most sincere condolences. I wish I was there to cry and mourn with you. The ancestors have a special spot in the Tipi for Peter.

I send all my love to you all.

Hold closely those true friends that fight and sacrifice for what is right.

TRULY; In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse


Leonard Peltier

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