Leonard Peltier Debate in Canada's House of Parliament -- Today

Hunter Gray hunterbadbear at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 19 07:55:20 MST 2002

Note by Hunterbear:

It's been very well known, of course, that the United States government
fabricated a great deal of phony "evidence" against Leonard Peltier at a
number of points.  This certainly occurred in the eventually successful U.S.
Federal effort to get Canada to cave-in and "return" him to the 'States.  It
certainly occurred at his trial at Fargo, North Dakota where --in contrast
to his co-defendants who were tried in a far more objective atmosphere at
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and quickly acquitted by an all-Anglo jury -- he was

In the battle in Canada to prevent his extradition, his cause was headed by
[among others] a very long-time friend of our family, Isabelle Deom, Mohawk
of Caughnawaga [Kahnawake], who was devoted to Leonard Peltier's cause --
and who was later murdered under mysterious circumstances in British
Columbia.  Isabelle, I should also add, was at one long-time point, a
student of mine at the University of Iowa -- where I was successful in using
the Jay Treaty [1794] and the Treaty of Ghent [1814/15] to force United
States educational funding for Isabelle [something I later did for many
Canadian Native students in United States academic settings.]  Isabelle,
also a major advocate on behalf of Natives incarcerated in prison, was
always the essence of hard-working and effective commitment.

As an aside: These Jay/Ghent treaties and subsequent rulings [e.g., Akins v.
Saxbe, 1974]  and administrative decisions recognize the unique status of
Native peoples  and tribal nations in both the United States and Canada,
provide for [theoretically] smooth Native border crossings, and for
reciprocal social and related services.  It is, of course, often a struggle
to secure the rights guaranteed by Jay and Ghent, etc.  An excellent account
of the valiant Native efforts in that context is Chief Clinton Rickard's,
Fighting Tuscarora: The Autobiography of Chief Clinton Rickard [edited by
Barbara Graymont], [Syracuse:  Syracuse University Press,  1973.] The late
Chief Rickard, of the Tuscarora Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy, was
founder and a leading activist in the Indian Defense League of America --
whose work is carried forward to this day.  This was broadly inter-tribal --
e.g., Frank and Teresa Meness of the Algonquin Nation, Maniwaki -- and that
important dimension continues.

Tom Daschle, South Dakota, was a major figure in blocking a Clinton pardon
for Leonard Peltier during the final weeks of the Clinton Administration.
Another hostile force, of course, was the FBI.

Isabelle Deom worked very hard for Leonard Peltier.  I am sure she watches
this from the Spirit World with  great interest and, always, with enduring
commitment on behalf of every good cause.


November 17, 2002

Toronto, Ontario Canada


Greetings to all,
A one-hour parliamentary debate on the Leonard Peltier case
focusing on the 1976 extradition proceedings from Canada
will take place on Tuesday, November 19 in the House of Commons in Ottawa.

The debate is in response to a Private Members' Motion,
submitted about two years ago by Bill Blaikie, NDP Member of Parliament (for
Winnipeg-Transcona). The televised debate on CPAC is
scheduled at 5:30 pm and will include submissions from Blaikie, from John
Reynolds of the Alliance and other opposition members. A
Member of Parliament is expected to speak on behalf of the Justice Minister
and the government's position on the case.

The Private Members' Motion, titled M-232, was selected by a
government lottery process about a week ago and calls on
the Canadian government to seek Leonard Peltier's return to Canada in light
of false U.S. government evidence presented to Canada's
extradition court. However, Parliament will not be allowed to vote on the
motion. The debate will also draw attention to the urgent
call for a Public Inquiry Commission into Mr. Peltier's extradition.
"How can the Canadian government sit idly by when they know that the
witness, that so much of the extradition request depended on,
recanted her testimony when questioned by Justice Fred Kaufman during the
Inquiry into the extradition process," asked Blaikie.

The federal government has yet to respond to the results of the Canadian
Kaufman Inquiry, an independent legal proceeding
co-ordinated by the Innocence Project of the Osgoode Hall Law School and the
LPDC Canada on October 25, 2000. The Inquiry received
the recanted testimony of the key extradition witness together with
submissions from other witnesses. The results formed the basis
of a Canadian clemency request in support of Peltier to former U.S.
President Clinton.

A request for an updated position from the
Canadian government was also filed with Prime Minister Chretien and to
former Justice Minister Anne McLellan. Canada's response so
far has been a justice department report in October 1999 after a 5 1/2-year
departmental review. The justice minister acknowledged
the use of false affidavits but relied on the argument that there was other
circumstantial evidence. Amnesty International, members
of the judiciary, aboriginal and human rights organizations in Canada and
worldwide have condemned this position since no evidence
has existed to justify Leonard Peltier's extradition.

Motion M-232 is as follows:

Mr. Blaikie (Winnipeg-Transcona) - That this House condemn as unacceptable
the extradition of Leonard Peltier to the United States from Canada on the
basis of false information filed with a Canadian court by American
authorities, and that this House call on the government to seek the return
of Mr. Peltier to Canada.

A media conference will take place in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 19 at
9:45 to 10:15 am.

LPDC Canada (Coalition)
lpdccfd at s...

Hunter Gray  [Hunterbear]
Protected by Na´shdo´i´ba´i´
and Ohkwari'

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