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:


NOA celebrates the designation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument

NOA’s Public Comment on Reconciliation in Place Names

Mobilizing Against Renewable Energy and Fossil Fuel Extraction

Our efforts are needed now. We continue to mobilize across Indian Country to stop oil and gas leasing to protect our sacred lands, cultural resources, water, and environments from imminent harm. Presently, the Biden administration is outpacing Trump on issuing oil and gas leases on public lands. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 allocates funds for promising increases in renewable energy and health care costs over time, but it does not adequately address or prevent devastation caused by extraction that will compound environmental degradation and climate chaos across the globe. The IRA will reinstate three oil and gas leases, two in the Gulf of Mexico and one impacting the Cook Inlet of Alaska by the end of this year. While the IRA significantly expands offshore leasing for wind energy, it also requires that oil and gas leases be offered over massive areas of the outer continental shelf as a condition of making wind leases available. Progressive policy provisions are supported by NOA, but compromise is not enough with respect to taking action on climate resiliency.

The Indigenous Environmental Network stated that the IRA is, “a distraction from the need to declare a climate emergency while allowing polluting industries to continue business as usual.” Our partners at NDN Collective submitted a letter to President Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outlining the misstep of passing a bill that links clean energy with fossil fuel extraction. “When it comes to offshore drilling, the coupling of the expansion of oil and gas with the development of renewables, is not only morally unsound but a betrayal of this Administration’s pledge to combat environmental racism and destruction.”

In unification with the voices heard across Indian Country demanding for the Biden-Harris administration to uphold promises of a transition to clean energy on public lands, NOA is resolute in pursuing efforts to leverage collective power in taking action to protect lands and waters sacred to our peoples. Efforts to eliminate environmental racism and continued devastation of our lands and waters requires true government-to-government meaningful consultation between Tribal Nations and the federal government in any and all decision-making that will impact Indigenous people.

Sign our petition today to voice your support for legislation that will protect our sacred lands, cultural resources, environments, peoples, and places. The petition will be presented to the House Committee on Natural Resources before the end of the year, December 2022. Join us in adding your name as we stand together in support of this landmark legislation.


How the Inflation Reduction Act is Investing in Tribal Communities

Native Organizers Alliance supports the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act being signed into law by President Biden. The bill includes an investment of $272.5 million for our Tribal communities. We must act on this moment as a time to redouble our efforts for speeding up a just transition from fossil fuels through collective organizing and climate advocacy.

According to U.S. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, the Inflation Reduction Act will pass the House and will be signed into law by President Biden who is a champion of the climate resiliency, tax, and healthcare bill.

The bill’s passage will allocate:

  • $150 million for Tribal home electrification, which has been an infrastructure challenge plaguing tribes who have the necessary expertise and authority to electrify homes, but not the financial means to do so.
  • $75 million for loans to Tribes for energy development, energy rebate programs offering incentives for homes with high energy efficiency, and for modernizing existing systems to make them more climate-friendly.
  • $25 million for climate resilience funding to the Office of Native Hawaiin Relations at the Department of Interior, representing the biggest investment in climate justice ever in history, paid for by corporate taxes according to Senator Mazie Hirono (D) Hawaii speaking to Hawaii News Now.

It also establishes a Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program (TELGP) with up to $2 billion available to support tribal investment in energy-related projects such as electricity generation and transmission facilities both renewable and conventional.

In order to pass the bill into law, there were compromises made related to allowing new oil and gas leasing, which continues to cause devastating harm to our lands and our people. According to, tribal leaders are applauding and supporting the bill citing the need for advances in climate protection now with the weight of draughts, storms, fires, and other natural disasters looming.

William Smith, Chair of the National Indian Health Board has stated, “Once perceived as future threats, the impacts of climate change are now upon us. The action taken today demonstrates a renewed respect for Mother Earth and our waters and will focus attention on critically needed resources and alleviating the impact of climate change and transitioning to clean energy.”

Additionally, with this bill savings on health care costs, medicare expenses, and a reduction in pricing of some critical medications alleviate the burden on our elders and our families. There are provisions for inflationary and deficit control that can bring some financial relief to Tribal citizens across nations.

Sunday as the bill passed the Senate, Secretary Haaland said, “As communities across the country continue to face extreme heat, intense storms, and other climate impacts, now is the time to make bold investments.”

Native Organizers Alliance is committed to our mission to mobilize communities to leverage sovereignty and collective power for sacred land and climate protections.


Overturning Roe v. Wade further harms Native women

National Native org says decision violates a “sacred right”
Washington, DC —Native Organizers Alliance responds to the decision by the Supreme Court to
overturn Roe v. Wade. The following statement from Judith LeBlanc, executive director of
Native Organizers Alliance, can be quoted in-full or in-part.

“Overturning Roe v. Wade is another blow to the sovereignty of Native women over their own
bodies. We are just a few decades away from the forced sterilization of Native women by the U.S.
government, and today’s decision is another violation of our most sacred right to bodily
Native women are 2 to 3 times more likely to die in pregnancy than white women, according to
the Centers for Disease Control. Our women are already dying in childbirth. And the Court’s
decision today puts even more at risk by forcing at-risk pregnant women to carry a pregnancy to
The decision ignores the humanity and rights of victims of violence. One in 3 Native women will
experience violence, including sexual violence, in their lifetime. They are also more likely to be
victims of sex trafficking. The Supreme Court has sentenced these women to a full-term
pregnancy that has resulted from sexual violence. It is the ultimate violation of their rights.
Native Organizers Alliance has seen the power of our people when we unite to defend our rights.
The fight isn’t over, and we will do all we can to support tribes and Native organizations in their
work to protect and defend reproductive rights.”


Brad Angerman, Pyramid Communications