A teenager’s Letter to Leonard Peltier -Elizabeth SiqueirosTweet
My name is Elizabeth Siqueiros. I am 15 years old and I am currently being home schooled by my mom. This week I am studying women’s rights and the 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and I learned that you were wrongly accused of murdering two FBI agents. My mom told me that you were still in jail and that even though there is butt loads of evidence you are innocent the government will still not set you free. My mom then went on to show me a documentary called “The Incident at Oglala”. It contained interviews from John Trudell and your brother and even you. I have also been learning about John Trudell and other important indigenous leaders.
The documentary almost made me cry because how mind blowingly wrong it all was. It scares me to know that the government gets away with so much. I mean, if they get away with this what else have they gotten away with? I am also very sorry to tell you, Mr. Peltier, that even though the fight you fought and the cause you protected was and still is of the utmost importance, when I was in school I learned nothing of this. Modern education does not teach of Wounded Knee and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, I suspect that the teachers themselves restrain from ever speaking of them out of shame and guilt. I actually left school to be home schooled because I was being bullied for being Mexican and because I was aware, and spoke out about, how little the education system has taught America’s youth about it’s total non-sugar coated past.
Mr.Peltier have you heard of Idle No More? It is a new movement of indigenous people protesting a number human rights and treaty violations. I protested on a highway once and there were people singing and banging on drums and dancing even though it was cold and snowing very hard outside. I made an Idle No More sign and all the people cheered when people honked their horns and whistled. My mom got very cold so we had to go home after a while but when I was walking back to the car two young men ran past me jumping and whooping and laughing and I don’t know why but I started running and jumping and laughing too. I think they were the same men who were drumming and singing. My mother says Mexicans are also part indigenous and that it is time for indigenous people to unite. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on that.
Mr.Peltier I would also like to ask you if you have heard of the recent death of Hugo Chavez at 4:25 pm on Tuesday the 5th? I was learning about him, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa in particular last month and Chavez was really a very revolutionary man. Not only did he beat a coup against him 11 years ago but he also was re-elected 13 times, and every time through fair and very democratic elections. Yet, America calls him a dictator and evil. And people on the internet are saying really mean things about him and it makes me angry. I really liked him and I am sad that he is gone.
Mr.Peltier do you get letters like this often? And if not, do you get any connection to the outside world like informants or the internet? How are you treated on a daily basis and do you think your living conditions are sufficient? Mr.Peltier do you have any pass-times or a hobby of some sort? I like to read and sing with my mother. She is very beautiful and is a very good singer. Do you get books? If you don’t have any I can lend you mine. Do you get toys or games? Anything? Do you have any friends in there? Are you a loner or lonely? If you are I can send more letters. Do you get to celebrate holidays? Do you get presents? Have you gotten to leave prison even for just a day? Is the food there good or gross?
I’m very sorry you are still in jail and can only say that I truly believe you are innocent. You are a hero and I would really like it if you wrote back. Thank you.