Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Leonard Peltier: The Passing of Carter Camp, a great Warrior and Brother

Statement from Leonard Peltier on the passing of Carter Camp
USP Coleman Prison, December 31, 2013

Greetings my Relatives, friends and supporters,

This is an open letter to Carter Camp’s family and loved ones.

I have just heard the news of my brother's passing. I want to send a condolence message. I want to begin with how sad this is for me to hear that another one of our elder warriors has passed on. I want people to know that I considered Carter to be one of our GREAT warriors; a man who when called upon would travel great distances to give assistance to native people who needed help.

Carter was known among us as someone who would stand up for what he believed in and put his life on the line if need be. He was an eloquent speaker and political strategist and also known for being quite blunt at times, which is refreshing considering today’s world of where people say one thing and do another. Carter lived his beliefs and honored his family. Carter was a leader, a spokesperson, a teacher, and an inspiration to others, especially when it came to taking a stand for what was right.

NOT once had I ever heard that Carter had RUN FROM A FIGHT.

He will never be forgotten as we will always remember him in our songs and when we sit around our fires while the rocks are heating for our inipi ceremonies.

We will always speak good things about him.

We will miss you Carter, but some of us will see you soon, so be waiting for us.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

In the spirit of Crazy Horse,

Leonard Peltier

BREAKING: Federal Gov't Asks Judge to Grant Lynne Stewart Compassionate Release from Prison

BREAKING: Federal Gov't Asks Judge to Grant Lynne Stewart Compassionate Release from Prison

The Bureau of Prisons has submitted a request to the judge in Lynne Stewart’s case, asking him to grant "compassionate release" to 74-year-old jailed civil rights attorney who is dying from stage IV breast cancer. Scroll down to read the order.

"This morning, the government, meaning the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons, filed a motion before Federal Judge John Koeltl, requesting that Lynne Stewart be re-sentenced to time served," said Bob Boyle, one of Stewart’s lawyers. "This means she would be eligible — if he signs the order — for immediate release. There is every indication that will sign the order, since he said so on the record, when we made the motion back in July to have her be released."

Boyle says he fully expects Stewart to be released in the next few days, and return to New York City where she will live with her son. He says she and her family have been told the news and are extremely relieved and grateful.

Read also >>
U.S. Asks Judge to Free Dying Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terrorism

Update:  The Judge has approved Lynne's release.  She will return home on 01 January.

Monday, December 30, 2013

In 2013 you should have heard more about...

"Take These Tribes Down"

An anti-tribal sovereignty movement emerges in the US and no one notices

An alarming conference dedicated to opposing tribal governments in the United States went by almost completely unnoticed and unchallenged. Held at the Lakeway Inn in Bellingham, WA, about ten miles from the Lummi Nation, on April 6, 2013, the conference was sponsored by "Citizens Equal Rights Alliance" (CERA) one of the most prominent anti-Indian organizations in the United States. The event featured a rogues gallery of speakers including Elaine Willman, a CERA boad member who once famously claimed that “Tribalism is socialism and has no place in our country” and Philip Brendale, who has considerable experience fighting tribal sovereignty. The event was also organized with the help of Skip Richards, a Bellingham property rights activist who has a history of recruiting Christian Patriot militias to back up his domestic terrorist threats.
CERA went on to host three more such conferences across the US in 2013, sending a clear message that they are working to build a nationally coordinated campaign against federally recognized Tribes while seeking to mobilize racial resentment against Native Americans.

Given the long history of American barbarism against Indigenous Peoples in the United states, these developments are troubling indeed. Unfortunately, the only attention this received came from the Lummi Nation and their local allies along with IC Magazine, Cascadia Weekly and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights (IREHR).

Read more un- or under-reported stories from 2013 >> http://intercontinentalcry.org/top-10-censored-stories-2013/

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Indigenous veterans memorial approved

President Barack Obama signed H.R. 2319, the Native American Veterans' Memorial Amendments Act of 2013, into law on Thursday, 26 December.

The bill authorizes the National Museum of the American Indian to raise funds and start work on a memorial for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans. The memorial will be located on the museum's property on the National Mall.

The House passed the bill on December 11 by a vote of 398 to 0. The Senate approved it by unanimous consent on December 20.

Indian Country: Last week's important stories

The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, December 29, 2013

A weekly roundup of the stories that mattered most, from the Indian Country Today Media Network

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/29/week-was-big-stories-indian-country-december-29-2013-152892


Wounded Knee - The Darkest Hour


Video taken from the "500 Nations" documentary. Depicts the Massacre at Wounded Knee including interviews, photos and quotes related to the events occurring at Wounded Knee.

Never Forget: Massacre at Wounded Knee


The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota.

Five days after the slaughter of the innocents, an editorial in the Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer reflected the popular opinion of the white people of that day. It read, “The Pioneer has before declared that our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.”

Arvol Looking Horse, the Keeper of the Sacred Pipe of the Lakota, says a prayer every year on the hallowed grounds at Wounded Knee. He prays that America will someday apologize to the Lakota for the terrible deeds of the Seventh Cavalry, and that the 23 soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor for the slaughter of the innocents, will have those medals revoked. He also prays for peace and unity.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

CENSORED NEWS: In Memory Carter Camp, Ponca

CENSORED NEWS: In Memory Carter Camp, Ponca: Carter Camp on far right at Wounded Knee March 1973. In Memory of Carter Camp, Ponca Carter Camp on far left. Photo Brenda N...

Warrior Carter Camp, Ponca, has passed over.  A Wounded Knee veteran and long-time advocate for Indigenous rights, Camp was a prominent interviewee in "We Shall Remain" (PBS), Episode 5.  View at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/weshallremain/the_films/episode_5_trailer.

Carter Camp was one of the original AIM (American Indian Movement) organizers. In 1973 he was directly in charge of the military action group that went in advance of the main group to take over Wounded Knee.  He and his group took 11 hostages, safely and most were released. They held Wounded Knee for 71 days and brought much needed attention to the horrible police state that the reservation was trying to survive under. Not only that but attention was brought to other Indian issues that were consistently being ignored by the government.  AIM helped bring more Indian issues into national and international news coverage.  Since then Carter has continued his Indian activism by organizing various groups like the one trying to protect the sacred Bear Butte from development.

Friday, December 27, 2013

FBI Allowed Informants To Commit More Crimes In 2012 Than Year Before

WASHINGTON -- The FBI allowed its informants to break the law at least 5,939 times last year, a 5 percent jump from 2011, according to a newly disclosed document.

In a Jan. 14, 2013, letter to Justice Department officials, obtained by The Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, FBI officials disclosed that its 56 field offices authorized informants to break the law at least 5,939 times during the 2012 calendar year. USA Today reported earlier this year that the bureau allowed its informants to break the law 5,658 times in 2011.

The breakdown of how many crimes were authorized by each individual FBI field office were redacted from the 2012 report, which is known as the Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. The FBI's fellow federal law enforcement agencies -- the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- do not track how often their sources commit crimes.

Read more >> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/27/fbi-otherwise-illegal-activity-report_n_4506385.html

Tacoma, WA: 18th Annual International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier, 08 Feb 2014

March for Justice: 18th Annual International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  Feb 8, 2014 

MARCH FOR JUSTICE Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 35th & E. Fairbanks. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east) 

Rally for Justice: 18th Annual International Day of Solidarity with Leonard Peltier1:00 PM - 3:00 PM  Feb 8, 2014 

RALLY FOR JUSTICE, U.S. Federal Court House, 1717 Pacific Avenue

Tacoma Chapter LPDOC, P.O. BOX 5464, Tacoma, WA 98415-0464
bayou@blarg.net or steve_hapy@yahoo.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/tacoma.lpdoc  
Subscribe to: Northwest Peltier Support at

Bolivia’s Indigenous Future: A Balance of Preservation, Protection and Connection

Evo Morales by Leonard Peltier
Evo Morales, Indigenous Current President of Bolivia (Photo Credit: Joel Alvarez) Evo Morales’s very name seems to suggest his destiny of leading Bolivia in a valiant attempt at ‘moral evolution’ with all other Nation States in tow. Tasked with the difficult role of representing his Indigenous roots at the national and international levels of government and policy, Morales continues to make great strides that by all appearances bridge the dichotomy of tradition and modernity. Recent evolutions in Bolivian national policy regarding the protection and preservation of indigenous cultures continue to gain legal traction. Simultaneously, more Bolivians than ever before are poised to claim their rightful place in the interconnected web that is the information age. 

Read more >> http://intercontinentalcry.org/bolivias-indigenous-future-a-balance-of-preservation-protection-and-connection-21527/

Thursday, December 26, 2013

More than 150 years after brutal slaughter, a small tribe returns home

When a few canoes carrying a group of Wiyot tribal members to Indian Island cross the choppy waters of Humboldt Bay in March, it will not look as if anything particularly special is happening.

The nondescript, flat, marshy 275-acre island sits beneath a bridge upon which traffic whizzes by on busy Route 255. But what will take place will be remarkable: 153 years after Indian Island was the site of a brutal massacre of the Wiyot, it will bear witness to a ceremony of rebirth and testament of survival for a people brought to the brink of extinction.

For three days, beginning March 28, the Wiyot plan to perform a world renewal ceremony on the island. It will be the first time since the massacre that the ceremony — which once stood at the center of the tribe’s cultural life — has been performed, healing a gap of more than a century and a half.
For the tribe’s current members, it’s especially meaningful that the ceremony will take place on the very land where so many of their ancestors were killed.

Read more >> http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/articles/2013/12/25/more-than-150-yearsafterbrutalslaughterasmalltribereturnshome.html

Holiday season continues

Kwanzaa begins today and will be celebrated from through January 1st.  Learn more >> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/25/kwanzaa-2013_n_4494731.html

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and some other Commonwealth nations.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland and Italy, the day is known as St. Stephen's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín). In many European countries, including notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and those in Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.

On This Day: 38 Dakota Men Hanged in Mass Execution Approved by Lincoln

For six weeks in 1862, the U.S.-Dakota war raged throughout southwestern Minnesota. The war and its aftermath changed the course of the state’s history.


On September 28, 1862, two days after the surrender at Camp Release, a commission of military officers established by Henry Sibley began trying Dakota men accused of participating in the war. Several weeks later the trials were moved to the Lower Agency, where they were held in one of the only buildings left standing, trader François LaBathe’s summer kitchen.

As weeks passed, cases were handled with increasing speed. On November 5, the commission completed its work. 392 prisoners were tried, 303 were sentenced to death, and 16 were given prison terms.
President Lincoln and government lawyers then reviewed the trial transcripts of all 303 men. As Lincoln would later explain to the U.S. Senate:  
"Anxious to not act with so much clemency as to encourage another outbreak on one hand, nor with so much severity as to be real cruelty on the other, I ordered a careful examination of the records of the trials to be made, in view of first ordering the execution of such as had been proved guilty of violating females."
When only two men were found guilty of rape, Lincoln expanded the criteria to include those who had participated in “massacres” of civilians rather than just “battles.” He then made his final decision, and forwarded a list of 39 names to Sibley.

On December 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hanged at Mankato.
At 10:00 am on December 26, 38 Dakota prisoners were led to a scaffold specially constructed for their execution. One had been given a reprieve at the last minute. An estimated 4,000 spectators crammed the streets of Mankato and surrounding land. Col. Stephen Miller, charged with keeping the peace in the days leading up to the hangings, had declared martial law and had banned the sale and consumption of alcohol within a ten-mile radius of the town.
As the men took their assigned places on the scaffold, they sang a Dakota song as white muslin coverings were pulled over their faces. Drumbeats signaled the start of the execution. The men grasped each others’ hands. With a single blow from an ax, the rope that held the platform was cut. Capt. William Duley, who had lost several members of his family in the attack on the Lake Shetek settlement, cut the rope. 
After dangling from the scaffold for a half hour, the men’s bodies were cut down and hauled to a shallow mass grave on a sandbar between Mankato’s main street and the Minnesota River. Before morning, most of the bodies had been dug up and taken by physicians for use as medical cadavers.
Following the mass execution on December 26, it was discovered that two men had been mistakenly hanged. Wicaƞḣpi Wastedaƞpi (We-chank-wash-ta-don-pee), who went by the common name of Caske (meaning first-born son), reportedly stepped forward when the name “Caske” was called, and was then separated for execution from the other prisoners. The other, Wasicuƞ, was a young white man who had been adopted by the Dakota at an early age. Wasicuƞ had been acquitted

More:  http://usdakotawar.org/history/war-aftermath/trials-hanging

The Aftermath:


Learn more:  http://usdakotawar.org/

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

New Jersey tribe sues makers of film 'Out of the Furnace' for $50 million

Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light.

The federal suit was filed Monday in New Jersey against the writers and producers of "Out of the Furnace." The suit claims the film makes false representations about the people who live in the Ramapo Mountains along the New York-New Jersey border about 25 miles west of New York City.

Read more >> http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=844909

Leonard Peltier in the Oval Office?

~*~Leonard Peltier in the Oval Office?~*~
Please post this EVERYWHERE!
& send copies to your newspapers & Congressional reps.
Also send this plea to Pres. Obama by visiting http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact  
I beg each of you, do it NOW.
Become part of the History of your own times!
DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA: PLEASE COMMIT A HOLY ACT & release LEONARD PELTIER— US Political Prisoner #89637-132— via EXECUTIVE CLEMENCY. For 38 years he has been torn from his People, his family, his grandchildren. He is now 68 and ailing. We plead with you to give him his last few years as a free man.
We pray for you & for Leonard—two extraordinary human beings on this Mother Earth.
We can arrange an OVAL OFFICE CEREMONY with LEONARD HIMSELF & close family members present, including his grandhildren…Also LAKOTA HOLY MAN ARVOL LOOKING HORSE, 19TH KEEPER OF THE SACRED WHITE BUFFALO  PIPE of the GREAT SIOUX NATION, who will perform a GREAT FORGIVENESS CEREMONY with a sanctified BUFFALO SKULL right there in the Oval Office. Let this be THE GREAT HEALING Arvol has long pleaded and prayed for. Please invite former New Mexico Governor and UN Ambassador Bill Richardson, who for decades has called for Leonard’s release, and redemption from false charges. Also Desmond Tutu, who has championed Leonard’s release for decades. Also, Whoopi Goldberg—who has advocated Leonard’s cause for many years—as have tens of millions of informed & good-hearted people around the world, many no doubt swelling your emails with their pleas. I feel sure the exemplary Spirit of the late Senator Daniel Inuoye will be hovering among us, wearing a radiant smile that this innocent man’s false imprisonment has ended in a mutually agreed Great Healing Ceremony & a Writ of Executive Clemency.
Mr. Obama—IT IS TIME. I beg you.  Make a Holy Act of a Great Deed!
May God speed your decision.
Harvey Arden , Washington, DC

Mandela film in wide release in the US on Christmas Day

Watch the trailer: 


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Greetings from Leonard Peltier

Greetings my relatives, friends, and supporters:

In this season of giving, receiving and acknowledgement of blessings, I want to acknowledge all of the people who have helped me all of these years and I want the supporters outside the U.S. to know I appreciate them also.  Sometimes I am at a loss for words.

Some of you probably have experienced moments like that when you are overwhelmed with thoughts and remembrances of loved ones that for some reason you cannot see or who have gone on. I know a lot of you are concerned about the children and getting them gifts for Christmas; I was listening to a program recently that was talking about just such things and how everyone was so concerned at this time of year.  I want to just touch on that for a moment.  I would like to say there are so many of our children around the world that need our help ALL the rest of the year, and that their disappointments do not just come on Christmas or some other holiday- they come EVERYDAY when they do not have enough to eat or they do not have someone to care for them.  I want to encourage you all to think of these things and also about our elders, and the people suffering in hospitals, and of course in prisons, where just receiving a letter in the mail is like a holiday to them, or an elder who sees a familiar face and it is like a holiday to them, or a child who gets to eat all he wants ... that's a holiday.

Among our people there was always a celebration of the Solstice which usually falls around the 21st or somewhere about there. There were always prayers at these times and often ceremonies; but gift-giving was a year-round thing that our people did.  Maybe I am being a bit over sensitive or sentimental at this time of year, as are a lot of people, but again I want to thank you for ALL the support you have given to me, and for the gifts you have given the children on the reservations and the letters you write to me and to other men and women in prisons.  I know there are groups that get together, like the one in Portland Oregon, that regularly writes letters to prisoners.  These things are greatly appreciated and I have no doubt that you will be blessed by these good things you do. I know some of you in your giving sometimes might be extending your resources, but I recall one time in a fasting ceremony that I was doing; I was told, those who give of their extra are appreciat ed and blessed but those who give what they cannot afford-- that is sacred.

I pray in a sacred way, that each of you will be blessed this coming year.  Find a sacred way you can help heal the Earth, heal our troubled children and make a better place on this planet for ALL to dwell.  Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Gandhi, Black Elk, Chief Seattle, all of the well known spiritual leaders in the past had one thing in common: they were willing to think and act outside the box. In a world filled with materialism, those of you that have been helping protect the Earth, the children, the elders and victims of injustice are of that same caliber.

I pray that you enjoy your holidays, that you feel the blessings of your actions, and that the Creator speaks to you in a kind and gentle way.  Give someone a hug for me, and tell them, "This is from Leonard Peltier."

Mitakuye Oyasin.

Your friend always - In the spirit of Crazy Horse,

 Leonard Peltier

Monday, December 23, 2013

You'll Never Guess Where This FBI Agent Left a Secret Interrogation Manual

In a lapse that national security experts call baffling, a high-ranking FBI agent filed a sensitive internal manual detailing the bureau's secret interrogation procedures with the Library of Congress, where anyone with a library card can read it.

For years, the American Civil Liberties Union fought a legal battle to force the FBI to release a range of documents concerning FBI guidelines, including this one, which covers the practices agents are supposed to employ when questioning suspects. Through all this, unbeknownst to the ACLU and the FBI, the manual sat in a government archive open to the public. When the FBI finally relented and provided the ACLU a version of the interrogation guidebook last year, it was heavily redacted; entire pages were blacked out. But the version available at the Library of Congress, which a Mother Jones reporter reviewed last week, contains no redactions.

Read More:  http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/fbi-copyrighted-interrogation-manual-unredacted-secrets

Steve Horn : Keystone XL's Houston 'Fork in the Road'

Only Barack Obama knows the fate of the northern half of TransCanada's Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. But in the meantime, TransCanada is preparing the southern half of the line to open for commercial operations on January 22.

And there's a fork in that half of the pipeline that's largely flown under the radar: TransCanada's Houston Lateral Pipeline, which serves as a literal fork in the road of the southern half of Keystone XL's route to Gulf Coast refineries.

Read more:
Steve Horn : Keystone XL's Houston 'Fork in the Road'

Jack A. Smith : Climate Change Confab Brings Too Little Too Late

The sharply increasing scientific indicators of impending disastrous global climate change have failed to motivate the principal developed countries, led by the U.S., to accelerate the lackluster pace of their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This was the principal conclusion of several key environmental groups attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) November 11-23 in Warsaw, Poland. The meeting lasted a day and a half longer than scheduled to resolve a dispute about new greenhouse emission targets. About 10,000 people attended the 19th annual meeting of the so-called Conference of Parties (COP19) that drew nearly all the UN’s 193 member states.

Read more:
Jack A. Smith : Climate Change Confab Brings Too Little Too Late

Mascot Movement Update

Opinion: Jewish people call on Washington owner to drop name (12/23)
Stanley Heller explains why Jewish people are calling on Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington professional football team, to get rid of a racist mascot.

Opinion: Washington fans tell themselves mascot isn't racist (12/13)
Professor John F. Banzhaf III discusses how fans are able to support the racist Washington football mascot.

Civil rights groups call for end to Washington football mascot (12/13)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 civil rights groups, called on the Washington professional football team to eliminate its racist mascot.

Jacqueline Keeler: Help put an end to racist mascots in sports (12/11)
Jacqueline Keeler, one of the organizers of No Native Mascots, on putting an end to the Washington football team's racist mascot.

Sonic apologizes for racist sign about Washington football team (12/09)
The Sonic Drive-In company apologized for a signboard that contained a racist message about the Washington professional football team.

Religious leaders urge Washington football team to drop mascot (12/06)
Sixty-one faith leaders in the Washington, D.C., area are calling for the end of the Washington professional football team's racist mascot.

Cobell Trust Fund Settlement Update

Latest Stories   

S.E. Ruckman: Delay in Cobell settlement hits Indian Country (12/13)
S.E. Ruckman discusses the delay in the second round of payments from the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement.

Jay Daniels: BIA gets an 'F' for handling of Cobell settlement (12/13)
Jay Daniels says the Bureau of Indian Affairs has done a bad job with the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement.

Audio from SCIA hearing for Cobell land consolidation program (12/11)
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held an oversight hearing this afternoon to discuss the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

Witness lists for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's hearings (12/10)
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will hold two hearings tomorrow.

Oglala Sioux Tribe enters agreement for land consolidation (12/10)
The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota has signed the first agreement with the Interior Department as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

Read more >> http://indianz.com/Trust/Cobell/

The Maddening and Dangerous Muddle of Federal Indian Law

Confusion abounded on a crucial point during oral argument in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community on December 2, 1013. The case arises from Michigan's effort to shut down a casino that was being operated (now closed) by Bay Mills on lands acquired by Bay Mills under a 1997 land settlement agreement. The federal appeals court blocked Michigan from suing Bay Mills, on the ground that the Indian Community has sovereign immunity.

What purpose is served by Bay Mills (or any other Indian Nation) adopting the contradictions of federal Indian law? These contradictions have been present from the start, nearly 200 years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court in Johnson v. McIntosh first promulgated them. Their purpose is to impose a special form of federal domination over Indian Nations that coincides with the effort of the federal government to maintain dominance over states.

The basic contradictions of federal Indian law have been reaffirmed and made more convoluted over the years. Federal Indian law starts with the premise that Indian Nations are politically independent, but contradicts that premise with the doctrine of Christian Discovery—i.e., that Indian governments are subordinate to the governments of Christian nations.


Galbraith Exits Obama Administration; Thiele Up to Bat

In a move that had been expected by Native affairs insiders for some time, Charles Galbraith has announced to tribal leaders that he is leaving the Obama administration.

Galbraith, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, joined the White House Office of Public Engagement as a Deputy Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in February 2011. He previously served as a Deputy Associate Counsel for Presidential Personnel in the White House. Before working for the administration, he was an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Arizona and a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D. He also worked for President Barack Obama during his first campaign for president, serving as an organizer of the Native American Domestic Policy Committee, which was a nationwide group of tribal leaders and activists.

Raina Thiele will take over his job beginning in January.

“Raina Thiele has most recently served as a program examiner at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helping to build the president's energy and international budgets," according to background information released by the White House. “She previously worked as a legislative analyst at OMB focusing on issues related to the Department of the Interior. Raina received her undergraduate degree from Yale College and her Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University.”

Thiele was born and raised in Alaska and is Dena'ina Athabascan and Yup'ik and an enrolled citizen of Pedro Bay Native Village.


RELATED: Navajo Citizen Hired to White House Team

Diné CARE Opposing ‘Bad Business Decision’ That Is the Navajo Mine

As the Navajo Nation draws ever closer to the purchase of its first coal mine, a grassroots group is publicly blasting the terms of the deal.

RELATED: Navajo Nation Taking Control of Coal Mining on Reservation

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/23/dine-care-opposing-bad-business-decision-navajo-mine-152842

Worst Case Scenario for Oil Sands Industry Has Come to Life, Leaked Document Shows

Industry consultants said anti-tar sands push could become 'the most significant environmental campaign of the decade' if activists were left unopposed.

By Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News.

As environmentalists began ratcheting up pressure against Canada's tar sands three years ago, one of the world's biggest strategic consulting firms was tapped to help the North American oil industry figure out how to handle the mounting activism. The resulting document, published online by WikiLeaks, offers another window into how oil and gas companies have been scrambling to deal with unrelenting opposition to their growth plans.
The document identifies nearly two-dozen environmental organizations leading the anti-oil sands movement and puts them into four categories: radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists—with how-to's for managing each. It also reveals that the worst-case scenario presented to industry about the movement's growing influence seems to have come to life.

Read more >> http://intercontinentalcry.org/worst-case-scenario-oil-sands-industry-come-life-leaked-document-shows/

Friday, December 20, 2013

Obama commutes sentences of 8 federal prisoners

President Obama has ordered an early release from prison for Clarence Aaron, who has spent twenty years there, hoping for mercy.

Aaron’s commutation is one of eight crack cocaine-related sentences commuted yesterday. Obama said the sentences were meted out under an “unfair system” that among other things featured a vast disparity between crack and powder cocaine cases.

See Propublica's ongoing investigation into pardons (37 articles, to date): 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

#TBT Linked in History: Nelson Mandela and Leonard Peltier

The above flyer was related to the U.S. tour for Nelson Mandela and Leonard Peltier.  At the time, Mr. Peltier had been imprisoned for over 10 years.  As we all know, Mandela was released.  But for nearly 38 years, Mr. Peltier's imprisonment has continued.  If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.  A massive worldwide outpouring of support for Leonard Peltier is possible.  Join Leonard's legions.  Free Peltier Now!

Tweet:  @WhiteHouse @BarackObama Please RT In the spirit of #Mandela, please free #LeonardPeltier
Write the White House:  President Barack Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
Call the White House:  202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 (Switchboard) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., EST

Monday, December 16, 2013

Native Americans release art to create 12 days of consciousness

Native artists have released a collection of artwork in hopes of creating “12 Days of Consciousness.” The campaign, hosted by honorthetreaties.org, addresses a number of causes dear to the Native American community through the art.
All of the posters, found here, are free to download and use for any non-commercial project. The artists contributing to the poster campaign are some of community’s best known muralists, including Cheyenne Randall. The hope of the campaign is that activists will download, print, and distribute the art to increase the visibility of the plights of the First Peoples.
Activism in Native communities is currently on the rise, with tribes taking an active role in anti-fracking and pipeline protests, continued resistance on the Pine Ridge reservation, and the calls by natives for President Obama to honor the request of Nelson Mandela to free Leonard Peltier.

Judge Says There’s an Epidemic of Prosecutorial Misconduct

In his most recent Huffington Post column, Radley Balko writes about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct as noted in the dissent by Alex Kozinski, the Chief Judge for the Ninth Circuit.
Last week, Kozinski issued a blistering dissent in a case where the court upheld the conviction of Kenneth Olsen, a man convicted of developing ricin. The defense subsequently learned that one of the people handling the evidence for Olson's case was Arnold Melnikoff, a forensic analyst who is under investigation for forensic misconduct that has led to three wrongful convictions. One of those cases is that of Jimmy Ray Bromgard, who was wrongfully convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl based on faulty hair analysis conducted by Melnikoff, and served more than 15 years in prison. According to Kozinski, the prosecution knew about the investigation, but still allowed Melnikoff to testify against Olson.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks also withheld information of Melnikoff's history of misconduct from Olsen's attorneys and allowed Melnikoff's attorney to characterize it as an "administrative" review that was limited to one case from 10 years ago.
According to the 9th Circuit panel of judges, the investigation of Melnikoff's misconduct wasn't "material" to Olsen's conviction; he would have been found guilty regardless. In his dissent, Kozinski criticizes the other two judges on the panel.
"The panel's ruling is not just wrong, it is dangerously broad, carrying far-reaching implications for the administration of criminal justice. It effectively announces that the prosecution need not produce exculpatory or impeaching evidence so long as it's possible the defendant would've been convicted anyway. This will send a clear signal to prosecutors that, when a case is close, it's best to hide evidence helpful to the defense, as there will be a fair chance reviewing courts will look the other way, as happened here."
"Protecting the constitutional rights of the accused was just not very high on this prosecutor's list of priorities. The fact that a constitutional mandate elicits less diligence from a government lawyer than one's daily errands signifies a systemic problem: Some prosecutors don't care about Brady because courts don't make them care."
Read the full article.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela, Free Leonard Peltier

Across the world millions of people mourn the passing of Nelson Mandela. We join in the mourning of the passing of a great man. Some morn because they share a vision with him, and others because it has become the correct thing to do and there is no way to stand against what this great man has done. Some point to the similarities between Mandela and the struggle against apartheid and Martin Luther King and the struggle against segregation. While that is true, the similarities do not end there, but few speak of this.

South Africa was a land where people from the outside came to a land where they oppressed and exploited those that lived there. They created ruling elites that carried out the policies that made great wealth for a few while holding most of the people in servitude. That is also true of the land called the USA. Whereas in South Africa the struggle was able to, in time, defeat apartheid and begin a process of reconciliation between those that came from other places and the indigenous people of that land. That process has never taken place here in the USA.

You should notice from history that the first step in ending apartheid and reconciliation between the indigenous people and those that came from the outside began with the release of political prisoners, including Mandela who had been in prison for 27 years for being an activist/warrior in the struggle for his people. So far the USA has rejected taking that first step and thus Leonard Peltier has been in prison for 37 years as an activist/warrior for his people.

We hear so many politicians on TV speak of Mandela and some even visit where Mandela was imprisoned. They speak of Mandela with tongues of deceivers, for they themselves reject taking the first steps that were taken in South Africa. For as long as Leonard Peltier sits in prison all the words of the politicians and the mass media about Mandela are words of deception.

Tacoma Chapter, Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee

DECEMBER 16 TO 20, 2013.  White House Comments Line - 202-456-1111

Please send this message: In the spirit of Nelson Mandela, please free Leonard Peltier.

Please post and share widely.
As individual fingers we can easily be broken, but all together we make a mighty fist. -- Sitting Bull


12:00 NOON: MARCH FOR JUSTICE Portland Ave. Park (on Portland Ave. between E. 35th & E. Fairbanks. Take Portland Ave. exit off I-5 and head east)

1:00 PM: RALLY FOR JUSTICE U.S. Federal Court House, 1717-Pacific Ave.

Tacoma Chapter - LPDOC
P.O. BOX 5464
Tacoma, WA 98415-0464
bayou@blarg.net or steve_hapy@yahoo.com   
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela

View on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SggOsfjsL0c

President Barack Obama: Remembering Nelson Mandela

For Immediate Release
December 10, 2013
Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery

Remembering Nelson Mandela
Johannesburg, South Africa
December 10, 2013

To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests - it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other.  To the people of South Africa - people of every race and walk of life - the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us.  His struggle was your struggle.  His triumph was your triumph.  Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy.

It is hard to eulogize any man - to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person - their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul.  How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.

Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by elders of his Thembu tribe - Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.  Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement - a movement that at its start held little prospect of success.  Like King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed, and the moral necessity of racial justice.  He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War.  Emerging from prison, without force of arms, he would - like Lincoln - hold his country together when it threatened to break apart.  Like America’s founding fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations - a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power.

Given the sweep of his life, and the adoration that he so rightly earned, it is tempting then to remember Nelson Mandela as an icon, smiling and serene, detached from the tawdry affairs of lesser men.  But Madiba himself strongly resisted such a lifeless portrait. Instead, he insisted on sharing with us his doubts and fears; his miscalculations along with his victories.  “I’m not a saint,” he said, “unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection - because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried - that we loved him so.  He was not a bust made of marble; he was a man of flesh and blood - a son and husband, a father and a friend.  That is why we learned so much from him; that is why we can learn from him still.  For nothing he achieved was inevitable.  In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness; persistence and faith.  He tells us what’s possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well.

Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals.  Perhaps Madiba was right that he inherited, “a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness” from his father. Certainly he shared with millions of black and colored South Africans the anger born of, “a thousand slights, a thousand indignities, a thousand unremembered moments…a desire to fight the system that imprisoned my people.”

But like other early giants of the ANC - the Sisulus and Tambos - Madiba disciplined his anger; and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand-up for their dignity.  Moreover, he accepted the consequences of his actions, knowing that standing up to powerful interests and injustice carries a price.  “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination,” he said at his 1964 trial.  “I’ve cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don’t.  He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper’s bullet.  He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement.  And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.

Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough; no matter how right, they must be chiseled into laws and institutions.  He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history.  On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, “prisoners cannot enter into contracts.”  But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal.  And because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy; true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.

Finally, Mandela understood the ties that bind the human spirit.  There is a word in South Africa- Ubuntu - that describes his greatest gift: his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.  We can never know how much of this was innate in him, or how much of was shaped and burnished in a dark, solitary cell.  But we remember the gestures, large and small - introducing his jailors as honored guests at his inauguration; taking the pitch in a Springbok uniform; turning his family’s heartbreak into a call to confront HIV/AIDS - that revealed the depth of his empathy and understanding.  He not only embodied Ubuntu; he taught millions to find that truth within themselves.  It took a man like Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailor as well; to show that you must trust others so that they may trust you; to teach that reconciliation is not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with inclusion, generosity and truth. He changed laws, but also hearts.

For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe - Madiba’s passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate his heroic life.  But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask:  how well have I applied his lessons in my own life?

It is a question I ask myself - as a man and as a President.  We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation.  As was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people - known and unknown - to see the dawn of a new day.  Michelle and I are the beneficiaries of that struggle.  But in America and South Africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done.  The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important.  For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future.  Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love.

We, too, must act on behalf of justice.  We, too, must act on behalf of peace.  There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality.  There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.  And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

The questions we face today - how to promote equality and justice; to uphold freedom and human rights; to end conflict and sectarian war - do not have easy answers.  But there were no easy answers in front of that child in Qunu.  Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done.  South Africa shows us that is true.  South Africa shows us we can change.  We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes.  We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity.

We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  But let me say to the young people of Africa, and young people around the world - you can make his life’s work your own.  Over thirty years ago, while still a student, I learned of Mandela and the struggles in this land.  It stirred something in me.  It woke me up to my responsibilities - to others, and to myself - and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today.  And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.  He speaks to what is best inside us.  After this great liberator is laid to rest; when we have returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines, let us search then for his strength - for his largeness of spirit - somewhere inside ourselves.  And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach - think of Madiba, and the words that brought him comfort within the four walls of a cell:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

What a great soul it was.  We will miss him deeply.  May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela.  May God bless the people of South Africa.

President Obama: What Mandela Taught Us

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Watch: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nbc-news/53788078/#53788078

Kennedy Center Honors: Carlos Santana

Congratulations, Peltier supporter Carlos Santana on receiving a Kennedy Center Honor.

An immigrant from Mexico who began learning English from American television, Santana is one of only a few Latinos who have received the honor so far. He first picked up the guitar after hearing blues and rock `n' roll on the radio, and he wanted to be like his mariachi musician father. His family moved to San Francisco. By the age of 22, he was playing at Woodstock.

In a tribute, musician Harry Belafonte joked that something should be done about Mexican immigration because he'd been overshadowed by Santana's fusion of rock, blues, African and Latino sounds. Santana is perhaps best known for his album "Supernatural" that won nine Grammys.

"Now Carlos is a citizen of the world. He belongs to all of us," Belafonte said. "Carlos, you haven't transcended race and origin. Really, who of us has? You continue to be informed by the immigrant experience on the journey to the great American dream."

Before the show, Santana said he'd never been to the Kennedy Center before but the award stands apart for him because it came during the Obama administration.

"It's really supreme because the award is being given to me by a black man. If it wasn't like that, I would say just send it to me," Santana said. "But since it's Mr. Barack Obama, I definitely had to make myself present and say from the center of my heart, `you are the embodiment of our dreams and aspirations.'" - Excerpted from http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/5819922/billy-joel-carlos-santana-herbie-hancock-receive-kennedy-center-honors-watch.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indigenous Peoples: Resisting Globalization, Asserting Self-Determination

The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indigenous Peoples: Resisting Globalization, Asserting Self-Determination
Posted: 09 Dec 2013 05:02 AM PST
DECLARATION The World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indigenous Peoples: Resisting Globalization, Asserting Self-Determination Click here to download the PDF We, the Indigenous Peoples of Mother Earth gathered here in Bali, Indonesia on 2-6 December 2013, organizing our own workshop and various events parallel to the World Trade Organization Ninth Ministerial Meeting (WTO MC9), hereby agreed [...]

Obama Should Free AIM Activist Leonard Peltier

This history of injustice has many parallels in a story from the United States: that of Leonard Peltier. The American Indian Movement (AIM) activist has been in prison for 36 years, convicted of killing two FBI agents in 1975. The incident and the many irregularities in the investigation and the legal case against Peltier are documented in the film “Incident at Oglala,” narrated by actor Robert Redford. Like Patishtan’s incarceration, the imprisonment of Peltier should be understood as part of an enduring history of colonialism in Native communities in the United States. The 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee (site of a historical massacre of Lakota people) marked the beginning of a three-year period of political violence on the Pine Ridge Reservation that was largely government generated. In the 1970s, the FBI carried out significant operations against organized American Indians through the COINTELPRO program. Documents later released show extensive surveillance, infiltration, and government participation in the generation of paramilitary violence on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. The paramilitaries, known as GOONS, killed more than 60 people, many of them elderly and children. No charges were ever filed.

It was in this context that Leonard Peltier and AIM activists came to be at Pine Ridge, invited by traditionalists terrified by the increasing violence. On June 26, 1975 two FBI agents in unmarked cars followed a pick-up truck onto the compound where a number of AIM families were camped. The families immediately became alarmed and feared a GOON attack. Shots were heard and a shoot-out erupted. More than 150 agents, GOONS, and law enforcement surrounded the ranch. Despite the fact that more than 40 people took part in the firefight, 3 were singled out: Bob Robideau, Darrell Butler and Leonard Peltier. In a trial that preceded Peltier’s, Robideau and Butler were found innocent based on self-defense, as the jury recognized that in this context of extreme violence they had rightly interpreted themselves to be at extreme risk. Apparently infuriated by their loss in this case, prosecutors went after Peltier with a vengeance.

Like Alberto Patishtán, Leonard Peltier has been a victim of institutional racism and political manipulation of the legal system. His trial was riddled with irregularities and violations of his constitutional rights. He was wrongfully extradited from Canada, key witnesses were suppressed, and witnesses that did testify against him later recanted and told of the terrible threats they were subject to. The context of extreme violence in which the incident took place was never presented at the trial, as it was in the cases of two others accused. During the 36 years since the trial, evidence of Peltier’s innocence has continued to mount, leading organizations such as Amnesty International, as well as notable individuals such as Nobel peace prize winner Desmond Tutu, to declare him a political prisoner and call for his release.

While Patishtán’s pardon did not bring him the recognition of innocence that he demanded, nor does it reform the structural conditions that facilitated the violation of his rights, Mexico’s new law – and the willingness of Mexico’s president to act on it - made ending his unjust detention possible. President Obama has always held the power to commute Peltier’s sentence, through what is commonly known as a presidential pardon. As leader of a country that generally believes itself to be above the political manipulation of the legal system and the holding of political prisoners, Obama might take a lesson from the Mexican president and free a man who has been unjustly imprisoned for most of his adult life. Peltier recently turned 69, and suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as a debilitating jaw disease. His continued imprisonment is an injustice that represents, for Native Americans, many centuries of injustices perpetrated against them. President Obama should act immediately to free Leonard Peltier. As his campaign slogan stated, “Yes we can.”

Dr. Shannon Speed (Chickasaw) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) at the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked for the last two decades in Mexico with Mayan communities, and her research and teaching interests include indigenous politics, indigenous women’s rights, human rights, indigenous-state relations, law and social systems, indigenous migration, and activist research. She has published five books and edited volumes, including Rights in Rebellion: Human Rights and Indigenous Struggle in Chiapas; Human Rights in the Maya Region: Global Politics, Moral Engagements, and Cultural Contentions; and Dissident Women: Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas. Her current research is on indigenous Latin American women migrants and gender violence. She was recently honored as the Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year.

Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo is Professor and Senior Researcher at CIESAS, the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology in Mexico City. She earned her doctorate in anthropology from Stanford University in 1996. She is currently a fellow in the Center of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge and this year recipient of the Simon Bolivar Chair (2013). Her research interests include indigenous studies, legal and political anthropology, postcolonial feminisms and activist research. She is the author of Histories and Stories from Chiapas: Border Identities in Southern Mexico (UT Press 2001), Sur Profundo. Identidades Indígenas en la Frontera Chiapas-Guatemala (CDI-CIESAS 2012),  and  is co-editor of Justicias Indigenas y Estado Violencias Contemporáneas (FLACSO-CIESAS 2013), Dissident Women. Gender and Cultural Politics in Chiapas (UT Press 2006),  El Estado y los indígenas en tiempos del PAN: neoindigenismo, identidad y legalidad (Porrúa 2004), Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias: the Indigenous Peoples of Chiapas and the Zapatista Rebellion (Rowman & Littlefield 2003), and The Other Word: Women and Violence in Chiapas Before and After Acteal (IWGIA 2001).
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/09/obama-should-free-aim-activist-leonard-peltier