Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
SACRAMENTO - Dorothy Ninham, from the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin, remembers a conversation she had with Leonard Peltier and other fellow employees back in the 1970s. Back when they worked together in Milwaukee at a substance abuse counseling center.
"We were sitting talking one day when we talked about how someday there may a time when one of us would get arrested for our Indian activism,"
"We said if one of us gets arrested we would make sure no one was left behind."
Through the years of Pelletier's imprisonment, Ninham has visited him in prison, helped to raise money for his attorney fees, worked on strategies on how to get him released. Peltier is still in prison after three and half decades and Ninham has decided to take her efforts to look out for him to a whole different level.
"We decided in July to have this walk across America to bring attention to Leonard Peltier. A whole lot of people have never heard of Peltier,"
She is the organizer and leader of the Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Justice that was launched Sunday by Dennis Banks.
Some thirty long walkers, aged 4 to 80, left the steps of the State California on Monday morning to embark on a twenty mile leg of their journey across America.
Riki Torres-Pestana, Hawaiian
"I am walking for the Leonard and the nation,"
said Riki Torres-Pestana, a Native Hawaiian from Maui, who flew to the mainland last Friday. He plans to stay with the walk all the way across America.
"I am walking for Leonard Peltier, human rights and teen suicides. There are so many things that we as Indians face,"
said Geronimo Powless, 40. Powless is Ninham's son. He is one of seven family members currently on the walk.
Ninham walked several miles of the 20 miles put in by the long walkers on Monday.
At the end of the walk, the entire group "circled" up where the walkers were admonished to stay strong because they are walking for justice. Experienced long walkers from previous Long Walks instructed the group how to pace themselves and told them they will get stronger as they continue their walk across America.
The Leonard Peltier Walk for Human Rights will continue its way into southern California all during the holidays as it works its way into Arizona next month.
The walk will conclude in Washington on May 17, 2012.
posted December 20, 2011 10:10 am est
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