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Statement by Leonard Peltier
I am a Native American who has suffered nearly 28 years in prison, even though government attorneys and courts acknowledge that the government withheld evidence, fabricated evidence, and coerced witnesses to fraudulently convict me. But the courts say they have no power to correct the wrongs of our government. If the Courts do not, who does? I will ensure that all peoples receive justice. Environmental protection is paramount for our survival. The earth is our sacred Mother who nourishes us. Our government is destroying the earth by allowing its usurpation for greedy purposes. I will protect the environment. All minorities must be allowed to maintain their languages and traditions with dignity. I personally suffered the indignity of being deprived of speaking my native tongue and following Lakota traditions. This country has engaged in genocidal policies to exterminate virtually every minority, especially those who express dissent and seek equal justice. Now is the time to end the continuing injustices of this government and ensure liberty and equal health care to all. Luther Standing Bear, a Sioux Chief, stated: "Out of the Indian approach to life became a great freedom -- an intense and absorbing love for nature; a respect for life; enriching in a supreme power; and principals of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guard to mundane relations." That statement exemplifies the basic truths of life. I will represent all people, not the entrepreneurs who care only how much money can be stuffed into their pockets.