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Native People vs. USA: Political Prisoners on Their Own Land

Seven Generations 2020

Verena
dates unknown
Native People vs. USA: Political Prisoners on Their Own Land
1978
Black Hills Alliance Movement Press
lithograph on paper
11 x 16 7/8 in.
Albuquerque Museum, gift of Diane Palley
PC2020.34.252

Although the siege at Wounded Knee officially ended in 1973, it marked the beginning of three years of violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation between tribal government-backed vigilantes and FBI agents and American Indian Movement (AIM) members and supporters. One such violent encounter ended with a young Lakota man and two federal agents shot dead.

Leonard Peltier and two other AIM members were put on trial for the agents’ deaths. Peltier was the only person sent to prison, but years later witnesses have admitted to being forced to claim Peltier as the shooter. There are also indications of evidence tampering in the case. Although he remains in prison, advocates for Peltier maintain that he was not involved in the shooting and should be released. They also argue that the federal government does not have jurisdiction over the case, as the shooting happened on sovereign Indigenous land.