By Alan Sorensen
The North Central Montana American Indian Movement, recently begun by Russell Houle of Rocky Boy, will observe Leonard Peltier Month in lieu of Native American Heritage Month in November.
To concerned citizens and traditionalists, (November) is Leonard Peltier Month, Houle said in a news release issued Monday.
Peltier, who turned 55 on Sept. 12, is in prison in Kansas on charges that he murdered two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in June 1975. His next parole release hearing is scheduled for December 2008.
Most of the activities planned for Peltier month will be held on the East Coast.
Festivities begin with a Run for Freedom, from Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania to the park in front of the White House, Houle said. Here, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandella, and a Native American spiritual leader of equal status will lead in joint prayer to kick off the festivities.
Houle said 10 freedom fasters will be posted in front of the White House for a designated period of time during the month. A candlelight vigil will be held each night in front of the White House.
At this time, Houle said, people in attendance will be allowed to make offerings or say why they are there.
Houle also announced the winners of the North Central Montana American Indian Movements Leonard Peltier birthday dinner. They are: George Molina, Myra Windy Boy, Dallas Sun Child, and Paula LaMere. All proceeds went to the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.
Houle said everyone is encouraged to attend upcoming Peltier Defense fund dinners at which T-shirts will be raffled off.
For forms or information about how to make direct contributions to Peltiers fund, please call Houle at (406) 395-4689. All contributions are tax deductible, he said.
Anyone wishing to sign a petition on Peltiers behalf is asked to call the same number.