Leonard Peltier (born September 12, 1944) is a Native American activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). In 1977 he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment for first degree murder in the shooting of two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents during a 1975 conflict on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Peltier's indictment and conviction have been the subject of much controversy; Amnesty International placed his case under the "Unfair Trials" category of its Annual Report: USA 2010.
Peltier is incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary, Coleman in Florida. Peltier's next scheduled parole hearing will be in July 2024. Barring appeals, parole or presidential pardon, his projected release date is October 11, 2040.
Peltier was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the eleventh of thirteen children, to Leo Peltier and Alvina Robideau. His father was three-quarters Chippewa and one-quarter French, and his mother was Lakota Sioux on her mother's side and Chippewa on her father's. Peltier's parents divorced when he was four years old. At this time, Leonard and his sister Betty Ann were taken to live with their paternal grandparents Alex and Mary Dubois-Peltier in the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa near Belcourt, North Dakota. In September 1953, at the age of nine, Leonard was enrolled at the Wahpeton Indian School in Wahpeton, North Dakota, an Indian boarding school run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). He graduated at Wahpeton in May 1957, and attended the Flandreau Indian School in Flandreau, South Dakota. After dropping out in the ninth grade, he returned to the Turtle Mountain Reservation to live with his father...
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