ALBUQUERQUE — A new human rights organization, the Indigenous Rights Center, opens its doors on May 1 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Indigenous Rights Center will operate as a charitable and educational organization that will promote the wellbeing of Indigenous Peoples, and focuses on the preservation of the rights and civil liberties of all American Indians.
A key component of the new organization will be to operate the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee under a clemency program.
An innocent man, Leonard Peltier (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) was wrongfully convicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977. Imprisoned for nearly 40 years—currently at the federal prison in Coleman, Florida, Peltier has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International.
Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, 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. Widely recognized for his humanitarian works and a six-time Nobel Prize nominee, Peltier also is an accomplished author and painter. For information on Peltier’s case and the clemency campaign on his behalf, visit www.whoisleonardpeltier.info.
Other human rights issues the organization will address include environmental rights, social justice issues, religious freedom, protection of sacred Native American sites, community safety, and greater Indigenous participation in local, state and national elections.
The Indigenous Rights Center will schedule an opening ceremony and potluck at a later date.