Category Archives: Messages From Leonard
Greetings, my Relatives and Friends!
It has come to my attention in the last week or so that a lot of our young people and women especially are standing up in support of our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters in Canada. It really does my heart good to see the activism and concern of the different generations of People coming together. There is great potential for educating those who don’t know about the perils that face our environment.
With personal knowledge I totally understand the difficulties of getting people to take action to bring about change. The direction that the world corporations have taken historically and today have largely been at the expense of the Indigenous People around the world. I encourage anyone who reads these words to become involved as much as possible to stem this tide of environmental destruction taking place.
The health of our environment transcends across all walks of life. If we don’t have healthy water, healthy air, healthy food, and healthy children we will not have a healthy future. That is the law. I can’t say enough how important it is that we communicate and join hands with our Indigenous Brothers and Sisters all over the world. We need to join together to bring about the change of these corporations who trample on our environmental rights.
I encourage you again to seek out the organizations that are already involved in this endeavor, and remain united with one another. I will encourage all the People that I work with and have worked with to do their part in this struggle. I’ll close for now, but in the Spirit of Chief Teresa Spence keep on keeping on, and idle no more!
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
Greeting my relatives, friends, and supporters,
It is with great honor that I get a chance to speak with you even though it’s a written message that someone has to read.
I’m saddened that we have to call this a Day of Mourning, but we must take every opportunity to remind this nation when it comes to keeping their word about treaties, about human rights, about the environment, about excess pollution – that it has failed miserably on all of those concerns. Also want to remind the major religions that speak about peace and love and brotherhood and are celebrating this thing called Thanksgiving, that we the native people of this land realistically overall have nothing to truly be thankful about regarding the arrival of the pilgrims.
And I would also like to remind the major various religions of this country that in all their teachings it says you reap what you sow. And if that is a true statement, if that is the law given by the Creator, then you have to only look around at the news of the day to see that that statement is coming to pass. This country is not keeping its solemn word under god that it gave regarding our treaties. And they don’t keep their own Scriptures that say not to bear false witness or lie. They’ve tried to keep us from honoring our fathers by destroying our culture. They violated their word where it says “thou shalt not kill”, violated every one of their commandments regarding our people in this land. And they will truly reap what they sow.
I also want to say that in the spirit of compassion and reason, and fairness, and forgiveness, that its never too late to turn things around. Actually I should say that’s not quite correct, it can be too late. There’s an old Cheyenne saying that a nation is never destroyed until the hearts of its women are on the ground. And if you look around you will see the decline of America. And it is entirely possible that that teaching is not far off. One thing as a people that we do have to be thankful for and thankful to the Creator only, we are still alive we are still a people. And we still know who we are, we still have a commitment to the Creator to protect this land, we still have a commitment to protect the laws of nature that were given unto us, to our ancestors. We are probably the only people on this continent that would be better off if this whole system fell apart. Because we possess the knowledge, the teaching and the culture to live in harmony with that which the Creator has given us.
I want to encourage all the young people, to always remember your health and the health of the earth are the most important things that you possess. And that self-discipline is the most important thing that you can learn. And taking responsibility for ourselves and our future is the most empowering thing that we can do. Right now you are listening to my words the words of a man in prison for 30 something years. A man who has had limited contact and yet I am able to speak to you now. And the reason I am saying this is because with all the freedom that you do possess you could do so much more. Educate yourself to our true history, educate yourself to what is really going on today, and educate yourself as to what needs to be done to make a better tomorrow for yourselves and your children’s children, our future generations.
Again I want to say I am just an ordinary man caught up in extraordinary circumstances. There is nothing that I have done or said that you cannot do or say and much better because you possess more freedom than I do. We need each other. If I am ever to be free, I need you. And the truth is, none of us are truly free right now, because any people who is afraid of their government, is not free. We all need to be warriors of one. Each needs to know how to defend themselves on any level. And as I’ve said before we need to recapture the freedoms we’ve lost and protect the ones we still have.
In closing I want to encourage each and every one of you to stand up in your own way in whatever way you can for what’s right, try to right what’s wrong and know that in my heart and in whatever way I can help you, that I will be with you. We need each other, you need each other, and we need the help of all peoples to correct this great damage that is taking place throughout the earth. Our battle is not with a race a people or a color, our battle is with ignorance and greed that is ruling the governments of men today.
Again I want to thank you and in the spirit of crazy horse and all those beautiful people that have stood up for what’s right in the past, and the ones standing up now. Stay strong and support one another,
Your Friend Always and in All Ways,
Greetings my relatives and friends
I wish I was there to talk with you in person and share with you the sorrow that I feel with the passing of Russell Means, my brother, my friend, and inspiration on many levels. Russell Means will always be an icon whenever the American Indian Movement is spoken of and whenever people talk about the changes that took place, the changes that are taking place now for Indian people.
One thing about Russell I always remembered, and I think someone else once said it, you may have loved him, or you may have disliked him, but you couldn’t ignore him. I’ll always remember when an elder said one time, I was at a ceremony and I asked what this half shaped moon circle on the ground meant, and he said it was a symbol of the circle of life, the never ending of the circle of life, and I said there is only half a circle, and he said the other half was unseen, it is the spirit world. For Indian people it never ends, we don’t have a linear existence, so I know I will see Russell again, and I take comfort in that thought. For men like Russell Means don’t come along in a lifetime very often. He was truly an inspiration for all of us younger guys at the time. He had good words to say, he was eloquent when he spoke them, and he spoke English as clearly and precisely and as articulate as any one I have ever heard speak. And he knew what he was talking about. And I know all of you out there, as well as myself, will always remember our friend, our brother and fellow activist, and how he stood with us to recapture the freedoms we’ve lost, and protect the ones that we still have, and bring about a better future for our people, and all people of this Mother Earth, who’s nature is in peril.
I really don’t know what else to say about our brother Russell, other than to Russell himself, “We’ll see you again my brother Russell, in some other time and in some other place, we will always be your friend, and we will always look forward to seeing your face. Mitakuye Oyasin ”
In the spirit of Crazy Horse, and Russell Means.
I’ll close for now.
I don’t know how many of you read my statements; but if you are looking for someone who
thought about what he was going to say before he said it, I’m your man. People in my situation have a lot of time for thinking, and I try to catch the media as much as I can. Having said that, I would like to take just a minute of your time, maybe two minutes of your time and convey to you my thoughts on voting.
Our people, native people, were not citizens of this government until 1924. And because of our resistance to encroachment and our fight for sovereignty many of our people have a tendency to not vote because they don’t consider this government our government. And in growing up I must admit I was in the same frame of mind, but as I’ve aged and experienced different aspects of life and come across many other philosophies, I’ve realized that in some ways I’ve had kind of a tunnel vision view of the subject of voting. And I now recognize that we sincerely need to vote. Whether we embrace our own level of sovereignty or not or whether you are native American or not. If you are an American you need to vote.
There’s an old saying its better to redirect force than to fight force with force. This government is a force, this is a force throughout the world and with our vote, we can redirect that force. Tecumseh the first native person to advocate a coalition of all the tribes, said in a talk once, as I’ve read, he demonstrated that one arrow could be broken but a bundle could not. That is how it is with voting, one of us doesn’t go very far, but all together as a voting bloc, we make a strong force to redirect this force of this government. And if our arrow becomes one of a bundle of others who are seeking justice and equality in government, then its entirely possible that we can make a difference. And this would make a difference in the world.
Obama, being elected, was in its own way like the tip of an arrow in revolution. It was an
effort by a multitude of people recognizing the need for this country to be more humanitarian toward other members of society than it has been. And it was an effort by the people to choose someone who cared about the people and was not just there for political power and monetary gain. I really truly believe this effort that started with Obama’s election could continue. Anyone who understands any level of government would know that this present administration could not totally clean up the mess that was created over a period of time, 8 years to be exact, under the Bush Administration. If you were old enough to remember things started to change when Ronald Reagan was in office and they started to break down labor organizations who kept up with workers’ rights and safety legislation as well as environmental legislation. And that trend has been going up and down ever since and if those powers elect another person of the Bush or Reagan mindset, it will hasten the downfall of this country’s economic situation – which until the Obama administration was in free fall. Its slowly working its way out, but we as a people need to do our part to help with that and we can do it by voting.
I also want to say, that the prison system in America has become an industry. It has become a bureaucracy. And in whatever state you live you need to become involved in changing that. The rate of imprisonment and incarceration of men and women is indescribably tragic. The rate of recidivism is somewhere between 65% and 85%, failure of the prison system, people coming back to prison. If you were needing health care, you would not be going to a facility that has a 65 to 85% failure rate. Any prison system that does not consider rehabilitation as a component is unjustifiable. Also the federal government and the state government needs to set up a system for people who manufacture American products to get an incentive of some sort to do that and put more Americans back to work.
It is a fact that I can’t vote, nor can any of the other 2 million people in prison in America
can vote and countless others who have felony convictions. I want to say there a lot of people throughout this country who should not have felony convictions and should not have lost or lost their right to vote. Most of these people come from poor families who would normally vote Democratic. And the powers that be, that control this country, mainly corporations, know this. And I believe with this prison industry, as well with other systems they have in place, it is all part of the control mechanism to subjugate Americans, of all races and colors. The judicial system in America needs a massive overhaul. The constitution is no longer the foundation of this judicial system. It is no longer the plumb line of law. If all of us who care, and want to see change go do this one thing, we can successfully redirect the force of this nation. We must do this or we will succumb to the wealthy corporations that want to use us as poorly paid wage slaves to fund their lavish lifestyles.
Anyway, maybe I’ve held you too long, but think about what I’ve said, and I know theres a
lot more information out there than I have. And you with your vote can do a whole lot more
than I can in here, or the other 2 million people that are locked up. Exercise your right to vote. Get your family to vote, organize voting drives. Don’t let the corporations control us any longer. Don’t let the prison system remain an industry in America. If you’ve never attended a demonstration or a political rally or any other function that tried to bring light to an injustice you can at least do this one thing, vote. I don’t know how to close out this comment other than to say, “vote, vote, vote.”
And may the Great Spirit bless you with all you need and enough to share and the courage to do whats right and right whats wrong
Your relative, brother, friend and fellow citizen of the first nations,
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse and Tecumseh and all those people who have stood for whats right,