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Audio by Tony Gonzales, AIM West
Across Indian Land KPFA
Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
Dutch translation NAIS
French translation Christine Prat
"They haven't broken his will or broken his spirit. He remains very positive and very strong. Today's visit made him very strong again." Lenny Foster speaking of Leonard Peltier.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Lenny Foster, spiritual adviser for Leonard Peltier, describes his visit with Leonard Peltier in Coleman Prison in Florida, with UN Special Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples James Anaya on Friday, during this radio interview.
Foster, Dine' and member of the American Indian Movement, is program supervisor for the Navajo Nation Corrections Project, which provides counseling for Native American inmates in state and federal prisons. Foster has done this work for 32 years, serving as Peltier's spiritual adviser for 27 years.
Tony Gonzales of AIM West interviewed Foster on Across Indian Land, KPFA Berkeley.
Foster described Anaya's reaction after the meeting with Peltier. "He was very moved and impressed, and he said it was an honor to spend four hours with Leonard, talking with him about his case."
Peltier asked Anaya, professor of law at the University of Arizona in Tucson, about the conditions of Indigenous Peoples throughout the world.
Gonzales pointed out that Peltier has been incarcerated for 38 years, and yet Peltier's concern is still with Indigenous Peoples around the world. Gonzales said, Peltier "wants to know how his brothers and sisters are around the world. I really felt that sincerity in him."
Gonzales said Peltier is a "a Mandela for us."
When asked about Peltier's health, Foster said, "Today he looked in very good spirits and was very happy and very moved by the presence of Mr. Anaya visiting him." However, Foster said that Peltier is suffering from diabetes and he is not in good health.
Foster said Peltier needs to be free and sent home to spend his remaining years with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and to be among his people.
"They haven't broken his will or broken his spirit. He remains very positive and very strong. Today's visit made him very strong again," Foster said.
Foster said the push continues for President Obama to grant Peltier executive clemency.
On the radio program, Foster also described the reign of terror in the US when the people stood up against the BIA and the GOONs on Pine Ridge in South Dakota. Foster describes how the GOONs terrorized Indian people. "They went against their own people."
"It was a civil war." Foster said in later years, however, the GOONs realized what they were doing was wrong.
Foster also describes a recent reunion in South Dakota with some of the warriors from Wounded Knee.
David Hill, director of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, joined Anaya and Foster in the meeting with Peltier.
Foster said Sampson Wolf, Tony Gonzales, and AIM West continue to provide support for Peltier from the San Francisco Bay area.
Listen to the audio above for more comments from Foster and Gonzales.