Betrayal, Hope, and the American Judicial System


This is March 9, 1992. I am in Leavenworth, the United States penitentiary. I would like all of you at the law colloquium to know that I am in the visiting room. I will not be able to express myself, or speak in the tone that I would normally, if I was reading this statement before you. Please understand that I have to speak very low in order not to disrupt anybody else’s visit or have them listen to what I am reading. Thank you.

During the 1950s I began to hear my people, my elders, speak out against the violations being executed by the United States government against Indian people. They discussed treaty violations, housing conditions, unemployment, [job] termination, alcoholism, and what organizing work they could do to alleviate these problems. It was then, in my youth, that I began to realize why my people were living in these conditions and what I could do to help them.

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