August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Native American Prisoner Advocate Lenny Foster Suffered a Stroke

Message from Marley Shebala
Greetings Everyone,
Photo: Lenny Foster advocating for the spiritual rights of Native American inmates at AIM West in San Francisco. Photo Brenda Norrell.
I just received a telephone call from Lenny Foster's brother Oree Foster. Lenny suffered a stroke Saturday morning at his home in Window Rock, Ariz/Navajo Nation. and was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, late Saturday night. When he arrived at the hospital, he was taken into surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He is recovering and listed in good condition. Doctors say he'll need two weeks of recovery and then he'll be sent to rehab for physical therapy.

The surgery involved drilling a hole in his skull to alleviate pressure and allow blood flow and so they had to shave Lenny's head. He's under heavy sedation at the time but people can call the hospital to find out how he is doing. Doctors said Lenny is strong and that he might not need two weeks of recovery but he does not physical therapy for his left leg.

Oree said that when Lenny was walking from his bedroom to the living room that his left leg just gave out and he feel to the floor. Lenny had to crawl to the phone, which took him 1.5 hours.

Oree also said that Lenny had just returned from a trip to Anthony, N.M., prison. He was also scheduled to go to San Francisco and New York City. Oree said that Lenny's heavy schedule probably contributed to his stroke.

He said that Lenny wants everyone to know what happened to him and to prayer for his recovery. Oree said rumors have already started that Lenny had a heart attack and passed away.

Oree gave me his phone number but I forgot to ask him about sharing it. The news about Lenny scared me. He's in my prayers.
Brief Bio on Lenny:

Lenny is the Director of the Navajo Nation Corrections Project and the Spiritual Advisor for 1,500 Indian inmates in 34 state and federal prisons in the Western U.S. He has co-authored legislation in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado that allows Native American spiritual and religious practice in prison and results in significant reductions in prison returns. He is a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, a sun dancer and member of the Native American Church. He has been with the American Indian Movement since 1969 and has participated in actions including Alcatraz, Black Mesa, the Trail of Broken Treaties, Wounded Knee '73, the Menominee Monastery Occupation, Shiprock Fairchild Occupation, the Longest Walk and the Big Mountain land struggle. He was a 1993 recipient of the City of Phoenix, Dr. Martin Luther King Human Rights Award.
■Religious Freedom for Indians in Prison
■Using the Spiritual Path to Avoid Being Institutionalized
■Sovereignty Self-Determination & Human Rights

No comments: