Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

Dear Friends and Supporters:

In recent years the case of Leonard Peltier has received increasing worldwide attention. This is largely due to the teamwork and cohesive efforts of the LPDC and their network of strong supporters. For many people, Leonard’s case typifies everything that is unjust in U.S. policy toward First Nations people — and its attitude, in practice, toward human rights. Over the course of the last four years, especially, this committee has made progressive strides in bringing Leonard’s case into mainstream national and international media and political venues. And as an extension of this tireless work, more attention has been drawn to the broader issues of Indigenous and human rights issues.

We gratefully acknowledge the growing global awareness that has been the direct result of Leonard’s extensive support network. Intense lobbying efforts, educational outreach and events have been initiated and sustained over these years by the LPDC’s various components, which include Leonard’s legal team, international coordinators, speakers bureau, lobbying team, advisory board, support group coordinator, Pine Ridge advocates, spiritual advisor, art coordinator, events organizing team and support groups around the world. http://www.freepeltier.org/org_chart.htm For the most part, a significant amount of groundwork is always accomplished without much fanfare. But the tremendous results of many efforts can be seen when, for example, foreign dignitaries such as Danielle Mitterand, former First Lady of France, visits the U.S. on a fact finding mission, or Congressman Porter holds a congressional hearing on Leonard Peltier and the Reign of Terror. Many more examples from the past five years are listed on the following web pages: LPDC 1998-2003 and Statements.

During restructuring of the LPDC in early 2001, Leonard expressed to the committee that one of his dreams was to have the LPDC become a world class human rights organization, which would not only focus attention on his case, but also address the rights and needs of all Indigenous Peoples. In response to Leonard’s wish, the committee has since established a foundation for building that organization, in part, by incorporating and adding a board of directors to the team. The many members of the committee should also take great pride in knowing that over the last five years, you have helped to bring the LPDC from humble beginnings to the proactive organization it is today. We believe this to be a result of the serious dedication, hard work and involvement of each of you who have contributed so much to the Indigenous and human rights efforts, and in working toward justice for Leonard. We could not have done it without you.

As with the restructuring two years ago, new people came on board to help with the building efforts. And with the new people, there was initiation of new ideas. Now that laying the foundation has been completed, it is the time for others to join the team to carry on the next level of building — and to introduce new plans in the ongoing campaign to obtain justice for Leonard. At Leonard’s request, new individuals have been asked to fill the roles on the board of directors, or by overseeing the LPDC office in Lawrence, Kansas. Introductions of this new lead team — and new campaign plans — will be forthcoming.

The outgoing board members welcome them, and wish them the best of luck in their efforts to free Leonard.

Each one of us remains committed to freedom for Leonard, so we will continue in our individual efforts. We would like to thank each and every one of you for your involvement — as the real movement is, and always has been, Leonard’s supporters.


Nia-wen kowa. Thank you, very much.

for the outgoing board members