Indigenous Leaders Call for Compassionate Release of Leonard Peltier

Rapid City, SD – In light of the severe health conditions and medical needs of longtime Indigenous political prisoner Leonard Peltier, NDN Collective and Native Organizers Alliance are asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to free Peltier through compassionate release.

“At the 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, Attorney General Merrick Garland stood in front of hundreds of Tribal leaders and committed to make Native American civil rights a priority to the Biden administration,” said Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of NDN Collective. “Supporting the compassionate release of Leonard Peltier after nearly five decades of imprisonment would be a clear signal that he intends to make good on that promise.

“Peltier’s civil rights were violated repeatedly throughout his prosecution and imprisonment. His continued incarceration should be considered cruel and unusual punishment,” continued Tilsen. “Will Attorney General Garland be known for being humane and releasing Leonard Peltier, or for letting him die behind bars on his watch? One of these choices will absolutely be a part of Garland’s legacy. Given the recognition of the many prosecutorial and constitutional violations from every level of those involved in his prosecution, the only morally and legally sound action is to release Leonard Peltier now. Every single moment matters.”

“We are asking the Department of Justice to support the compassionate release of Leonard Peltier,” said Judith LeBlanc, Executive Director of Native Organizers Alliance“As the longest-serving political prisoner in the United States, Leonard has become a symbol of resilience. At a time when democratic values are being questioned, the DOJ should take action as he nears the end of his life and allow him to return to his family and his ancestral homeland. We implore the DOJ to grant Peltier compassionate release.”

NDN Collective has been actively organizing for the release of Leonard Peltier for years, including leading a caravan from Rapid City, SD to Washington, DC last year where they rallied outside the White House.


NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building, and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms. 

Press release originally published here: