Leonard Peltier Biography

Leonard Peltier

imprisoned activist
Born: September 12, 1944
Birthplace: Grand Forks, North Dakota

Leonard Peltier is a carpenter, welder, and American Indian Movement (AIM) leader whose imprisonment since 1977 is considered a human-rights violation by such organizations as Amnesty International. In 1975, during the FBI surveillance that followed the 1973 AIM occupation of Wounded Knee, two federal agents were shot dead at South Dakota's Pine Ridge reservation. Peltier was convicted of their murders and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, despite the prosecution's misconduct and admission of false evidence, and the fact that no witnesses linked Peltier to the crime. His incarceration continues to draw international attention. Peltier, a member of the Anishinabe (Ojibwa) and Lakota nations, writes, paints, and organizes from behind bars.