73 year old Leonard Peltier’s Health is Slipping Away

Posted By Jazmyn Espinoza-Church September 12th, 2017 Blog

“I’m one step back from passing away.”


Native American political prisoner and activist Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned for more than 40 years, denied pardons even despite his health deteriorating throughout his sentence.

Very recently, though, it seems his health is slipping and he is very much aware of it. In early September, he was transported to an outside hospital for what he called a “routine heart stress test”. The test results were alarming-3 clogged arteries. The doctors scrambled to operate immediately, ending in a triple bypass, which is major surgery for anyone let alone a 73-year-old prisoner.

In an email from the International Leonard Peltier Defense committee sent on Sep 2nd he gives us more insight into what happened:

Good morning, everyone. OK. I know everyone did not know this, but it’s been a rough ride for me, BUT I’m one step back from passing away.

I was taken to an outside hospital in Leesburg, Fla., for what I was told was a routine heart stress test. And it turned out that they found clogged arteries, three of them! They decided to operate right away, and I just returned from triple-bypass heart surgery. My chest was opened and they took arteries from my legs and placed them in the blocked arteries. I had to be given a liter of blood. Now I am back at the prison and getting around in my wheelchair. They said this would help my shortness of breath and the pressure in my chest.”

The Great Grandfather and former member of AIM (the American Indian Movement) is currently serving time for the alleged murder of two FBI agents during a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

The Indigenous community was deeply saddened in January when President Obama denied him pardon for his charges, despite already serving 40+ years.

About Jazmyn Espinoza-Church

Jazmyn Espinoza-Church is a bestselling Native American Author, advocate for Native youth, and freelance journalist. When she's not writing or mentoring she can be found in her Michigan home, hanging out with her fiance and two sons.

TAGGED:    activism    Culture    Events    Indian Country    Indigenous    mostpopular    Native    Native American    Pine Ridge  


17 thoughts on “73 year old Leonard Peltier’s Health is Slipping Away

  1. One would of thought after what happened to his own race from the white people Obama would have given Leonard Peltiers a pardon. Obviously he thought he was white or fear of upsetting Europeans. So shameful of him.’

  2. Fred Ryan says:

    I learned a long time ago,When you have an Indian for a friend You gotta friend for life.. So true..
    With that I have leonard Peltier on my Prayer list.. I think it is important stuff.
    Also talking to my N.A. friends and collegues, I asked them, Why do you not have your own political
    party? You sacred people could well take over the administration of this country in a noble way..
    Well, My friends asked me, “Why don’t you help with something like this”??.. OK, with that I did..
    I thought and prayed to Waken Tonka and received this vision.. Here is what I came up with..
    My Native American inspired political Party… TAPP ROOT.. This is important.
    TAPP= True American Patriot Party .. Root= Realizing our only time.. TAPP ROOT.. I have been
    keeping this quiet and you are the first to know.. I have been told that this by my NA Friends
    that this will really take off.. And yes, I have a manafesto.. Our first thing is to protect our Mother
    the earth.. Stop the ariel spraying and the poisoning of the earth.. Next up, the prevention of these
    wars, forever.. Please give me feed back.. And I’d like your help……With Much Love..
    Leonard Peltier For TappRoot Spiritual advisor & Patron.
    Fredy Ryan, Portland, Oregon
    503-286-3597 Home
    503-235-9559 Grand ave, boxing gym 2PM
    [email protected]

  3. Ellie ashby says:

    I am saddened to hear that he is still in prison. Why would a traitor be released but a person fighting for rights is not. 40 years is long enough. He needs to be able to spend time with his family before he goes to be with the Creator.

  4. Janie McAndrew says:

    I wish you had been a part of my life. You a such an honor to the Native American People. I am Irish and I know how much the Native American’s did for the Irish during the famine. I hope in the next world you will be treated with the honor and respect you have earned in this life. I look forward to see you in the next world where the color of your skin does not matter. There are no words to start to tell you how sorry I am for what my people have done and still do to your people. My own family is bi-racial so I know what the look is when I go places. I will send you prayers, love, joy from my heart, mind and spirit. Love, Janie McAndrew

  5. Simon Gowen says:

    This is just typical of an out dated judicial system in what is meant to be a world leading country. It’s despicable. The whole case against Mr Peltier is riddled with flaws and inconsistencies. Is just no one over there has the balls to do the right thing.

  6. Joost Oud says:

    I send blessings for Leonard’s health and may he soon be freed from prison. I am not Native American, yet I feel a strong connection with their way of being and worshipping. I shall offer prayers with my medicine drum for his release.

  7. Mona Monahan says:

    My heart is aching. He is such a strong noble man. To not release him for gods last times is cruel and inhuman. My prayers to the creator are with you great warrior. I’m so sorry that all the letters , phone calls etc have not produced the needed and just result. You have only goodness and peace in your heart. My thoughts and prayers are still with you

  8. Running Doe/tsalagi says:

    smoke and prayers go up for you my brother, Uhaloteka is with you always, all blessings and prayers

  9. David "Two Bears" Strahler says:

    The Native American people have long suffered because of our government injustices, a practice that still exists to this day. Leonard Peltier was trying to organize his people to bring back the ways of his people with the AIM movement and was rubbing someone in Washington the wrong way. His people were not allowed to settle their inner tribal problems without government interference. The judicial decided to make Leonard an example to all of the Native Americans to just do what the Government tells you to do and nothing more. Leonard is a true warrior for the rights of his people and I hope he is freed to join his people once again. David Two Bears

  10. Pamela HP Peltier says:

    What harm can he do now, the man is 73yrs old..it’s all a conspiracy as the truth has not been told, yet. But someday Peltier will have his day in court for his Innocent even though he may not see it in his lifetime but his family and friends will. Justice will prevail.

  11. bolo bad elk says:

    Well this shows how a government is discrimination against a race and don’t have to provide due process of court and the f.b.I has no authority to tell a president not to let a prisoner release.

  12. My prayers go out from my heart to our brother Leonard….may the Creator heal him completely.

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