August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Dineh Lenny Foster -- 'American Indian Movement gave us dignity and pride to stand up, express ourselves'

Bill Means and Lenny Foster, AIM West 2017.
Photo by Karen Wright

Dineh Lenny Foster -- 'American Indian Movement gave us dignity and pride to stand up, express ourselves'

Article by Brenda Norrell
Audio by Govinda Dalton
Spirit Resistance Radio
Photo by Karen Wright
Censored News

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lenny Foster, Dineh and spiritual adviser for Leonard Peltier, shared his memories of being in the American Indian Movement at Alcatraz, on the Trail of Broken Treaties and at Wounded Knee, during the annual AIM West Conference here, Nov. 20 -- 21.
Lenny began with a prayer in Dineh, a Blessing Way Prayer, to bless those gathered, and their grandchildren, and relatives back home. Lenny said it was a blessing for what is said here, which comes from the heart.
"The Dineh have been here a long time, we fought the Conquistadors, we fought the Mexicans, and we fought the Calvary. Today we still engage in the struggle to keep our dignity and pride, our water clear and pure, the land. All of us are part of that classic struggle," he said.
The struggle includes the right to smoke the Pipe, share in the Sweatlodge, and to keep one's hair long, he said.
These were rights he struggled uphold in state and federal prisons over the past decades.
Lenny spoke of the Twenty Point Manifesto of 1972, written by Hank Adams, and with Sidney Mills. Lenny was part of that with others, after Clyde Bellecourt asked him to be part of it.
Lenny said Hank Adams wrote this brilliant document. Lenny remembered those who stood with him at Alcatraz and were with him on the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan.
"We didn't plan on taking over the building," Lenny said of the BIA building takeover in Washington.
"We did it with the prayer, the Pipe, different herbs that were used."
Lenny said he identifies himself to the Spirits with the names of his ancestors in prayer.
Dineh also identify themselves to the Spirits with Turquoise.
"One of the teachings of the movements was prayers, ceremony," Lenny said.
"The movement gave us that dignity and pride to stand up and express ourselves."

Listen to more of Lenny's words at the AIM West Conference at Spirit Resistance Radio:

Article copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News. May not be used for revenues or commercial purposes.

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