On June 26th, 1975 there was a tragic shootout on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation that ultimately left two FBI agents and one Native American Indian man dead. I spent years learning about the events leading up the shootout, including the horrific Reign of Terror, the trials, and ultimately the highly questionable and what most consider the wrongful imprisonment of Leonard Peltier for the death of the two FBI agent. Since his imprisonment, millions and millions of people has supported that Peltier is innocent of the murders, did not get a fair trial, and became the scapegoat for the FBI. Many may be aware of the events from watching the documentary by Michael Apted and Robert Redford, Incident At Oglala, or through the Rage Against The Machine video for "Freedom", that featured footage from the documentary, while telling a shorter version of the events.
Rage Against The Machine - Freedom
(unedited version...so there's a small bit of language not suitable for young ears)
Peltier Video premiere at 1PM (central) on June 26th!
The annual Oglala Commemoration that takes place on June 26th, 2020 in the Pine Ridge Reservation was forced to cancel due to Covid-19. However, there is a group in Germany that is hosting a video premiere on YouTube, showing some highlights of last years Oglala Commemoration Days. During the premiere you can take the chance to participate on a live chats as well. This event is a dedication in solidarity with Leonard Peltier, his relatives and friends, and all the freedom fighters all around the world - fighting for his freedom and indigenous rights.
The premiere starts at 12 high noon South Dakota time, in Germany and Paris that's 8pm, in London 7pm, in Chicago 1pm, in NY 2 pm and in San Francisco 11 am. The video will be about 13 minutes, followed by the live chat. There will be a link to join a video conference from Germany as well. Here is the link to the event:
Millions of people still believe Peltier is Innocent!
Here is a small list of people who have publicly worked towards bringing awareness of Leonard's plight and his ongoing fight for Justice.
The Dalai Lama
Sen. Daniel Inouye
Rev. Jesse Jackson
The Late Coretta Scott King
Martin Luther King III
The Late Mother Teresa
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Churches
Rage Against The Machine
The Oglala Lakota Nation
Sister Helen Prejean
Below is a copy of the Oglala Commemoration Newsletter from MAY 14, 2020
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. COVID-19 is taking its toll on many. As you may already know, the Pine Ridge Reservation is taking precautions to include Stay-at-Home orders, Curfews, and border closures. Perhaps if other counties and states did the same, putting people over profits, they could have contained the spread of the pandemic a little better. This virus does not discriminate and knows no boundaries. We urge you all to follow the advice of the medical experts; PLEASE wash your hands, social distance, and wear your mask when in public places. The virus doesn't care if the mask is uncomfortable to wear, but it is important to do so to protect not only yourself, but your love ones and your community.
The Oglala Commemoration is in its 21st year, an event that involves not only community but worldwide supporters. After much discussion, the Committee has decided to cancel this year's events. Considering the health needs of community members and the already strained healthcare system on the reservation, we decided it was more prudent to cancel this year's event rather than potentially risking increased infections by bringing people on to the reservation.
In Lieu of this year's events and on Leonard's behalf, the Oglala Commemoration Committee would like to announce the 2020 Leonard Peltier Protecting the People initiative. In consideration of the additional strain on healthcare systems and dire need for PPE and supplies on our reservations, we felt that in keeping with Leonard's vision of empowering and supporting our tribal communities we ask friends to consider joining us in supporting this initiative.
As I write this, the Navajo Nation is experiencing the most deadliest 48 hours. The number of positive cases is over 3000, with a 103 deaths in a population of just 175,000. Curfews and travel restrictions in place are vital to reducing the spread. Further, the tribes in South Dakota are as well being affected. In efforts to proactively reduce the number of cases, many of the tribes have closed the borders to their communities, limiting entrance to tribal members only. The tribes have set up blockades manned by tribal members, which lack masks, gloves and the ability to clean their hands. Tribal sovereignty as well as the health and safety of tribal members are as well at risk due to the governor's shortsighted ultimatum to reopen the roads. The Governor threatens to undermine the Tribal Sovereignty and put the fragile reservation populations at great risk.
We are asking on behalf of Leonard, to protect our elders, family and sick ones, If you would like to help, please order masks from our preferred vendor:
Attn: Edward Moore
Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
Phone Number - 1 (888) GLIDE-911 , 1(888)454-3391
Mr. Moore has been extremely generous in extending a group discount to support this endeavor. Keep in mind there is up to a 15 day window from order to delivery. Please show your support and patronage.
You may direct Intelliglide to ship to any of the following individuals or organizations: Please choose one of these address for your order.
NAVAJO & HOPI COMMUNITY DONATIONS:
1) Carl A. Begay
2225 E. Lockett Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ. 86004
Accepting: Mask and other donations
Make checks payable to Karen Begay or Paypal
"We're using any collected funds for gas money. I am taking supplies and PPE to the Navajo and
2) Klagetoh Veterans Nonprofit Organization
Attn: Mateo Shẽnalẽ
Unit 3 HC 58 Box 90
Granado, AZ. 86505
OGLALA LAKOTA COMMUNITY DONATIONS
1) Cedar Face Foundation
Gail Cedar face
PO Box 6031
Pine Ridge, SD. 57770
2) Oglala Sioux Tribe
Attn: Karin M. Eagle
107 West Main Street
PO Box 2070
Pine Ridge, SD. 57770
Note: Material and elastic are also being accepted at the tribal office.
Otherwise, the Committee has purchased over 3000 mask, if you would like to donate to purchase more,
you may contact the committee at:
Oglala Commemoration Committee
1939 Wentzville, Pkwy - Ste. 191
Wentzville, Mo. 63385
Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org ------>
This list may change, more may be added and some removed due to the command of the areas being hit the hardest in the weeks to come. Please copy and paste the address to include in your order.
If you sew or have a sewing group, homemade ones are just as good.
We thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you in 2021.
Be safe and take care of yourself and your loved ones..
The Oglala Commemoration Committee
the 21st Annual
Leonard Peltier Day
June 26, 2020
Has been CANCELLED for this year
Due to COVID-19
Originally Posted May 14, 2020 at: http://www.oglalacommemoration.com/newsletter.html
Below is a message that was shared by Chief Arvol Looking Horse nearly two decades ago, just days after 9/11. It was a strong read then, and it feels very potent in the times we are in now, as well...
"Mitakuye (my relative):
I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation, would like to ask for this time for you to understand an indigenous perspective in reflection of what has happened in America, what we call "Turtle Island". For the past six years, my work has concentrated on an effort on uniting the global community, through a message from our sacred ceremonies in recognizing a day of World Peace and Prayer on June 21 as a time to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator.
We have been warned from the messages, passed down from ancient prophecies, of these times we live in today, but also of a solution to turn these terrible times around. To assist you in understanding the depth of this message involves the recognition in the importance of Sacred Sites. It is important that you realize the whole interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas.
I have been learning about these important issues of Sacred Sites since the age of 12, upon receiving the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and its teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. There needs to be an understanding in the concern of the protection of Sacred Sites that goes deeper than just the issue of shrines built by humans. Our people have built similar objects and shrines to identify and to remind the significance in the power of the Sacred Site.
We have also witnessed them being destroyed for many decades, but we also realize it is what is underneath them that is important. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to this predicament that we are in concerning the unstable global level thus far.
Look around you. Our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations and we are at a brink of destroying a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, for our children's children. Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site from the continued violations called the Sacred Black Hills in South Dakota, the "heart of everything that is."
Our ancestors never saw this site from a satellite view, but now that those pictures are available with modern technology, we see that it is in the shape of a heart. When fast-forwarded, it looks like a heart pumping. The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver, and now that the coal is depleting, we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal and the poison processes used in doing so.
The Aborigines warned of the contaminating effects on the Coral Reefs from global warming, which they see as Mother Earth's blood purifier. Our sacred water is being polluted. The indigenous people of the rain forest relay that the rain forest is the lungs and needs protection. Now we see the Brazilian government approved the depletion of 50-percent of this Sacred Site. The Gwich'in nation has an issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich'in as "where the life begins!" The coastal plain is also the birthplace of many other life forms of animal nations. The death of these animal nations will destroy indigenous nations in this territory. As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness many more extinct animal, plant and human nations, because of the misuse of power that mankind has made and their lack of understanding the "balance of life".
The indigenous people warn that these destructive developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more indigenous awareness's and knowledge of Mother Earth's Sacred Sites, connections (Mother Earth's chakras) to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations. These people are still suffering from this contamination and their livelihood is being destroyed.
There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the whole picture in the type of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole global community.
Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us. Our ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. Back then, this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it's just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford. Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them, as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the Source of Life itself.
Attacking nations and having to utilize more resources to carry out the destruction in the name of peace is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affect the global nation. We will not be immune to its repercussions. To allow continual contamination of our food and land is now affecting the way we think. A "disease of the mind" has infected world leaders and many members of our global community, with their understanding that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring peace.
In our prophecies, it is told that we are now at the crossroads: either unite spiritually as a global nation, or be faced with chaos, disaster, disease and tears from our relatives' eyes.
In times of disasters, it is sad to say that it is the only time that we unite spiritually. But we must not taint it with anger and retaliation. We are the only species that is destroying the source of life--Mother Earth--in the name of power, mineral resources and ownership of land. We are using methods of chemicals and warfare that are becoming irreversible, as Mother Earth is tired and can not sustain any more impacts of war.
I ask you to join me on this endeavor. Our vision is for the peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites at that sacred moment of what is known as the Summer Solstice of June 21, to pray and meditate and commune with one another, thus promoting an energy shift to heal our Mother Earth and achieve a universal consciousness toward attaining peace.
As each day passes, bringing us to this day of concentration together, I ask the global nations to begin a Global effort in knowing that each and every one of us are making a daily effort in waking to the gratitude of another day. Remember to give thanks for the sacred food that also has been gifted to us by our Mother Earth, so the nutritional energy of medicine can be guided to heal our minds and spirits.
This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the Great Myth of Progress and Development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. We have come to a time and place of great urgency. The fate of future generations rests in our hands. We must understand the two ways we are free to follow, as we choose: the positive way or the negative way, the spiritual way or the material way. It's our own choice--each of ours and all of ours.
You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone--and only you--can make this crucial choice. Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. You can't escape the consequences of your own decision. On your decision depends the fate of the entire world. You must decide. You can't avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you are essential to this world. Believe that! Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You are desperately needed to save the soul of this world. Did you think you were put here for something less? In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending!"
~Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Sept. 15, 2001
Maka akantula (People of the earth),
This is our 25th year in our efforts to bring attention to the importance of the remaining Sacred Sites around the world; where we have visited Nations and honored their ancestor’s place of worship. One day I would like to see “Honoring Sacred Sites Day, June 21st” recognized all over the world, when people will finally understand their importance. My personal direction and responsibility has been to pay attention to our prophecy of White Buffalo Calf Woman. She said there would come a time when a sign would show where man’s behavior had gone too far in their destructive choices. And our Ancestors have shared from ceremony — “we warned - people would not be able to control what they have created.”
In 1994, the same year Global Warming was first announced, in Janesville Wisconsin, a white buffalo calf with black hooves, black nose and eyes was born. She was named Miracle. Many people came from the four directions to pay homage, because spiritual people knew this was a blessing and yet a warning. Since that time, many white animals around the world have revealed themselves to Nations that hold them important in their culture. Memories I recall through this 25 year journey; while with Aboriginal Nations in Australia, a white kangaroo came out of the bush during our ceremony, and being shown pictures of Migalo, the white whale, in the great waters. Many of these white animals are still coming, telling us to pay attention to the choices we have to make, to change our behavior. This attention is to respect the gifts from Mother Earth, to respect one another’s way of life in helping to protect Sacred Sites, bring respect back to Nation’s sacred spiritual items and ceremonies that are now being abused.
We will come together once again during this time, but now we are being asked to stand apart, in order to be safe. We are told we need to keep distance if we respect one another - because a dark spirit has come upon us that is causing much suffering for all humanity. In this present time there is a lot of anger, hatred and racism. We need to create change in all our lives and respect one another’s ways of prayer. We know in our hearts that good will always overcome if we stand in unity.
Some of the places where we have created a sacred fire will be able to join us during this time. We will visit them through technology, where they will share what they have witnessed since our visit to their territory.
I humbly ask people to join together in prayer for a great healing, even by lighting a candle within your home and offer tobacco outside to the earth to give thanks.
These are now the crossroads: either be faced with global disasters, earth changes, climate changes, different sicknesses causing tears from our relatives eyes - or we can unite spiritually, globally - All Nations, All Faiths, One Prayer.
In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!
It is time all People understand Mother Earth is the Source of life, not a resource.
Onipiktec’a (that we shall live),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
Due to the difficult circumstances restricting gatherings this year, WPPD (June 18 - 21, 2020) will be shared 'virtually', so we may continue to bring attention to the protection of sacred sites throughout the world, while honoring the precautions set forth by medical professionals.
If you are hosting a fire:
Our first and most important principle is to promote the health and safety of all participants, but especially our Elders who maybe at the highest risk. If you will be joining others or others joining you, please use face coverings or masks and maintain a safe distance. This should be strictly enforced with no exceptions.
Fires may not be photographed or filmed once lit, and safely maintained throughout the night. Photos/videos of the fire setup/area before or after would be preferred.
Individuals are also encouraged to light candles (that burns for all four days or on June 21st) to join with the spirit of the sacred fires. We also welcome churches, mosques, or temples, where safe distancing permits. Please send us your general location to: email@example.com
Online Coverage of speakers, dancers, songs, and other sharing moments will be listed daily on the WPPD Facebook page with times and links provided.
As always, we only support drug free / alcohol free / drama and violence free gatherings. Please, always use common sense, be guided by decency and kindness, and be respectful of ALL ceremonies.
Thank you for joining us in seeking the highest good for our Unci Maka (planet) and the generations to come.
Use the links below to join the virtual event:
The Work Hard & Be Nice album is OUT NOW, y’all!!
Today, we are being called to connect with the hearts of others to literally bring about the healing of the planet. There is no higher calling, and I hope this music helps people know that they are not alone in the effort. Each person’s role makes a difference, and we will create billions of small victories that all add up together.
TONIGHT, I’m playing songs from the new album for the first time at the livestream WHBN Album Release Party from Bali, the first of three concert events in the Stay At Home Concert World Tour this summer! Who’s in?
Listen to the full album, out now HERE and grab your tickets for tonight’s livestream event HERE.
I hope you all enjoy the new album and the music speaks to you in the way you need it to right now.