Monday, December 12, 2011

Media Advisory: Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights

12 December 2011
Contact: Dorothy Ninham, Wind Chases the Sun, Inc., N5679 Skylark Drive, DePere, WI 54115; Telephone: 920-713-8114 or (920) 869-2641. Also Gina Buenrostro at (920) 713-2205 or Geronimo Powless at (920-713-3828) or by Web form:

Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights to Begin on December 18

With the goal of advancing the economic, social, and cultural rights of all people, the Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights will begin on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay on the morning of December 18, 2011. The Walk will follow a route across the southern United States to the east coast and end in Washington, DC, on May 18, 2012.

"Leonard Peltier planned this spiritual walk to give voice to all peoples of this continent," said Dorothy Ninham (Oneida), Wind Chases the Sun, Inc., coordinator of the Walk.

"We are all related. We all want peace in our lives. We all want an healthy environment for ourselves and the coming generations. We all want decent work, adequate housing, nutritious food, quality health care, and education for our children and grandchildren."

On Sunday, a diverse group of people from all over the United States will gather at Alcatraz for a Native American pipe ceremony and the blessing of those participating in the five-month Walk.

"According to Native American prophesies, the races will come together to create a better world. This Walk is an opportunity for all peoples to gather together, freely express our concerns, and participate in the decisions affecting all our lives."

Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier, an accomplished author and artist, is renowned for his humanitarian achievements. In 2009, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year. Mr. Peltier also has been awarded the Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize (1986); North Star Frederick Douglas Award (1993); Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award (2003); Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement (2004); First Red Nation Humanitarian Award (2009); Kwame Ture Lifetime Achievement Award (2010); Fighters for Justice Award (2010); and First International Human Rights Prize, Mario Benedetti Foundation (2011).

Wrongly imprisoned since 1976, Leonard Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, the late Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, 55 Members of Congress and others—including a judge who sat as a member of the court in two of Peltier’s appeals—have all called for his immediate release.

"We walk as much for Mr. Peltier as with him. As a defender of our human and constitutional rights, President Obama must release Peltier. It's time."

A reception is scheduled for December 17 at 5:00 p.m., at the Inter-Tribal Friendship House, 523 International Boulevard, Oakland. Participants will gather the next day on Pier 33 beginning at 8:00 a.m. The ceremony will begin on Alcatraz soon after all have assembled on the island. A press conference will be help at Pier 33 at 1:00 p.m.

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