International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2010

 

Moved by news reports about the earthquake in Haiti, renowned Native American activist and artist Leonard Peltier has organized an art auction to benefit the children most affected by the disaster.

An accomplished artist, Peltier has donated his work for the event. Other artists joining him in this effort to include Billy Warsoldier, Faron Blakely, Joanne Bird, Jo Ellis, Leslie Thunderhawk, Kenneth Hari and Chad Brady.

A member of the American Indian Movement, Peltier was wrongfully convicted in connection with the deaths of two agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Despite the courts’ acknowledgment of FBI and prosecutorial misconduct in the case, Peltier has been imprisoned since 1976, currently at the U.S. Penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. His case was documented by renowned author Peter Matthiessen (“In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,” Viking Press, 1983) and in several films, including “Incident at Oglala,” produced and narrated by actor Robert Redford. The 65-year-old Peltier also has been designated a political prisoner by Amnesty International.

Leonard Peltier often donates his artwork to human rights and social welfare organizations to help them raise funds. Most recently, recipients have included Trail of Hope (a Native American conference dealing with drug and alcohol addiction); World Peace and Prayer Day; the First Nation Student Association; and the Buffalo Trust Fund. Leonard Peltier has been widely recognized for his humanitarian works and has won the North Star Frederick Douglas Award; Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award; Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize; 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement; and the First Annual Red Nation Humanitarian Award in 2009. Also in 2009, Leonard Peltier was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year.

The benefit will be held at the Trickster Gallery at 190 South Roselle Road in Schaumburg, Illinois, on Saturday, March 6, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Both a live and silent auction will occur and paintings will be on exhibit beforehand.

Trickster Gallery, a program of the American Indian Center of Chicago, is the only Native-operated arts institution in Illinois and is dedicated to providing space for first-voice arts. Trickster Gallery features contemporary Native art (post 1960s) and augments exhibits with film screenings, featured speakers, panel discussions, school tours, and educator workStores.

The auction will be held in conjunction with Trickster Gallery’s 5th Anniversary Benefit for the Arts. The public is invited to join Native Folk and Blues musician Keith Secola, the Mark Cleveland Band, Guia Rivera, Aztec Dancers, Native American Drum and Dancers, Native Artist Andrew Morrison, and others in a celebration of First Peopes’ art. Call 847-301-2090 or send an e-mail to trickstergallery@aic-chicago.org for ticket information.

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