Freedom Ride For Leonard Peltier Begins In Mankato
MANKATO, MN- A freedom ride for Native American activist, Leonard Peltier, began Saturday morning in Mankato.
A group of Native Americans and supporters from a number of reservations converged to Reconciliation Park, the site where 38 Dakota Indians were hanged in 1862 as a result of the U.S.-Dakota Conflict.
Before the horseback ride began, a prayer took place at the memorial (Riverfront Drive) to honor those who were killed as well as ask for support along the journey.
In 1977, Peltier was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment, for first–degree murder in the shooting of two FBI agents during a 1975 conflict on an Indian reservation.
Riders say the purpose of the ride is to win clemency for Peltier and bring awareness to the prejudice Native Americans and people of color face today.
Standing Rock Sioux member Frank Archambault says "We're here to educate the people about what's taking place here amongst our people, the injustice and wrongdoing that have been occurring over the past 100 years. For this ride, we want to ask President Trump if he'd be lenient enough and have a heart to let Leonard walk free and go home."
The group will ride more than 1400 miles in the span of almost two months and asks anybody along the way to join in on the ride by horse or on foot.
The end destination is Coleman, Florida, where Peltier is imprisoned.
- KEYC NEWS 12