Trial Of Leonard Peltier

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The Trial of Leonard Peltier Author’s name Institution affiliation The Trial of Leonard Peltier Introduction Leonard Peltier was a Chippewa-Lakota activist and also a significant leader of the American Indian Movement (AIM). His description by fellow activist John Trudell was “this generation’s Geronimo, this generation’s Crazy Horse” (Messerschmidt, 1999). They opposed the government in their plans to acquire Indian land. In the late ‘60s, Peltier joined a national movement of Indians fighting to recover their culture and reclaim rights bestowed to them by treaties signed over a century gone. In the 1970’s Peltier travelled to the Midwest and there he met Russell Means, Dennis Banks and other people who had formed the American Indian Movement in 1968, Minneapolis. He participated in the movement’s struggles mainly involving treaty rights (Messerschmidt, 1999). The Pine Ridge Reservation was the main bone of contention. The Sioux obtained this piece of land after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Their social-economic structures of the marginalization process were that: it exceeded 4,500 square miles (Linder, 2006). It had a bank and a library all situated in white settlement areas. Elected tribal leader Dick Wilson controlled the area. He was an unscrupulous leader. With the aid of his vigilante force, the Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOON’s) he attacked the “traditionalists”. Over sixty murders have occurred in this reservation between the year 1973 and 1975 and still remain unsolved. To protect the Reservation, traditionalist requested the AIM to allocate them members to protect them from further attacks by the GOON’s. Among them was Leonard Peltier, who at the time was being accused of the attempted murder of a police officer in Wisconsin. On June 26, 1975 FBI agents, Ronald A. Williams and Jack R. Coler were allegedly shot dead by Leonard

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