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2016-05-09T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Lenny Foster?

Mr. Lenny Foster

Spiritual Advisor and Director

Navajo Prison Project

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Navajo Prison Project

Background Information

Affiliations

Spiritual Advisor
Leaonard Pelteir

Board Member
International Indian Treaty Council

Fellow Lenny Foster
The Petra Foundation

Member of the Grand Council
AIM

Member
Native American Church

Spiritual Advisor, The Navajo Nation Corrections Project
P.O. Drawer 709

Representative
American Indian Movement

Education

Arizona Western Junior College

Centauras High School

Colorado State University

Sociology

DC Photos

Web References (199 Total References)


Lenny Foster The ...

petrafoundation.org [cached]

Lenny Foster The Petra Foundation | Lenny Foster

The Petra Foundation
...
Lenny Foster "Spirituality is the foundation of American Indian culture-the root of a traditional way of life. If American Indian peoples are denied the right to exercise their spirituality, we're talking about a denial that borders on cultural genocide. -Lenny Foster, 1997
In May of 1972, a group of spiritual leaders involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM) went to Minnesota's Stillwater prison to perform a traditional Native American Pipe Ceremony. For 23-year-old Lenny Foster, one of the youngest AIM participants, this powerful experience would set the direction for his life's work. "It had a profound impact on me," he says. "I could see the hope on [the prisoners'] faces. I felt so good that I could pray in my native tongue. That was fate. Destiny. Recognizing the importance of traditional Native American religious practice as a source of strength and a necessary means of cultural preservation, Lenny has spent the last 28 years fighting to ensure that incarcerated Native Americans have the right to worship with access to their traditional ceremonies.
Lenny grew up in Fort Defiance, Arizona, with his mother and his father, a Navajo code talker during World War II. Lenny attended an Indian school as a day student and lived with his grandparents on a traditional Navajo sheep camp over the summers. "This traditional upbringing serves as a foundation of who I am today," he says. "I've made it my calling to go to institutions where Native Americans are incarcerated and share it with those who didn't have the opportunity to learn the traditions and to draw strength from their spiritual heritage."
After trying out unsuccessfully for the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm team, Lenny went to Arizona Western Junior College and then to Colorado State University. In college, he had his first exposure to the civil rights movement. "People were talking about riots in Detroit and Malcolm X and Martin Luther King," Lenny says, "and I was wondering-where do I fit in? Lenny joined the American Indian Movement.
In 1970, he was involved in the occupation of Alcatraz and, in 1972, in the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan and the Bureau of Indian Affairs take-over in Washington, D.C. He took part in the 71-day protest at Wounded Knee in 1973. In 1978, he participated in the Longest Walk, a seven-month journey from Alcatraz to Washington, D.C., to protest proposed legislation that would eliminate the federal government's fiduciary responsibilities to American Indian nations.
In 1981, as a graduate student in public administration, Lenny volunteered in the Arizona State prisons, where he constructed the first prison sweat lodge in the Southwest. Eventually he realized that his heart lay in this work, and he left his graduate program to pursue it full time. In 1983, the Navajo Nation tribal government began to support his efforts to provide spiritual counsel to incarcerated Native Americans. Today, as the Spiritual Advisor and Director of the Navajo Nations Corrections Project, he is responsible for the traditional spiritual guidance of 1500 inmates in 89 state and federal penitentiaries. "Many prison administrators don't want Indian people to succeed. They are threatened by the return to spiritual beliefs and want to deny Indians the right to rehabilitate themselves through spirituality," he says. He is troubled by the high rate of suicide among Native American prisoners, especially juveniles.
...
Lenny has authored and co-authored legislation protecting the rights of incarcerated Native Americans in four states in the Southwest. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on several occasions. He has been a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council since 1992. In January, 1998, Lenny's testimony on the overlooked rights of American Indian prisoners was accepted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Later that same month, the Association of State Correctional Administrators accepted his proposal to develop standards for American Indian religious freedom within all correctional facilities.
A member of the Grand Council of AIM since 1992, a member of the Native American Church and an active Sundancer, Lenny is active in the protest of the forced relocation of the Dine people in Big Mountain, Arizona.
Lenny Foster is concerned that today's American Indian youth are less exposed to the traditions that gave him strength. "The responsibility we have as Indian people to teach our children and youths is great-alcoholism, drugs, broken homes are everywhere-you don't have the role models my generation had. By offering those most in need of support the kind of spiritual guidance he had as a boy, Lenny Foster shoulders his responsibility to pass on tradition and, in so doing, to pass on strength.
Lenny Foster


Petra | Lenny Foster

petrafoundation.org [cached]

Lenny Foster Petra | Lenny Foster

Petra
...
Lenny Foster "Spirituality is the foundation of American Indian culture-the root of a traditional way of life. If American Indian peoples are denied the right to exercise their spirituality, we're talking about a denial that borders on cultural genocide. -Lenny Foster, 1997
In May of 1972, a group of spiritual leaders involved in the American Indian Movement (AIM) went to Minnesota's Stillwater prison to perform a traditional Native American Pipe Ceremony. For 23-year-old Lenny Foster, one of the youngest AIM participants, this powerful experience would set the direction for his life's work. "It had a profound impact on me," he says. "I could see the hope on [the prisoners'] faces. I felt so good that I could pray in my native tongue. That was fate. Destiny. Recognizing the importance of traditional Native American religious practice as a source of strength and a necessary means of cultural preservation, Lenny has spent the last 28 years fighting to ensure that incarcerated Native Americans have the right to worship with access to their traditional ceremonies.
Lenny grew up in Fort Defiance, Arizona, with his mother and his father, a Navajo code talker during World War II. Lenny attended an Indian school as a day student and lived with his grandparents on a traditional Navajo sheep camp over the summers. "This traditional upbringing serves as a foundation of who I am today," he says. "I've made it my calling to go to institutions where Native Americans are incarcerated and share it with those who didn't have the opportunity to learn the traditions and to draw strength from their spiritual heritage."
After trying out unsuccessfully for the Los Angeles Dodgers' farm team, Lenny went to Arizona Western Junior College and then to Colorado State University. In college, he had his first exposure to the civil rights movement. "People were talking about riots in Detroit and Malcolm X and Martin Luther King," Lenny says, "and I was wondering-where do I fit in? Lenny joined the American Indian Movement.
In 1970, he was involved in the occupation of Alcatraz and, in 1972, in the Trail of Broken Treaties Caravan and the Bureau of Indian Affairs take-over in Washington, D.C. He took part in the 71-day protest at Wounded Knee in 1973. In 1978, he participated in the Longest Walk, a seven-month journey from Alcatraz to Washington, D.C., to protest proposed legislation that would eliminate the federal government's fiduciary responsibilities to American Indian nations.
In 1981, as a graduate student in public administration, Lenny volunteered in the Arizona State prisons, where he constructed the first prison sweat lodge in the Southwest. Eventually he realized that his heart lay in this work, and he left his graduate program to pursue it full time. In 1983, the Navajo Nation tribal government began to support his efforts to provide spiritual counsel to incarcerated Native Americans. Today, as the Spiritual Advisor and Director of the Navajo Nations Corrections Project, he is responsible for the traditional spiritual guidance of 1500 inmates in 89 state and federal penitentiaries. "Many prison administrators don't want Indian people to succeed. They are threatened by the return to spiritual beliefs and want to deny Indians the right to rehabilitate themselves through spirituality," he says. He is troubled by the high rate of suicide among Native American prisoners, especially juveniles.
...
Lenny has authored and co-authored legislation protecting the rights of incarcerated Native Americans in four states in the Southwest. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on several occasions. He has been a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council since 1992. In January, 1998, Lenny's testimony on the overlooked rights of American Indian prisoners was accepted by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Later that same month, the Association of State Correctional Administrators accepted his proposal to develop standards for American Indian religious freedom within all correctional facilities.
A member of the Grand Council of AIM since 1992, a member of the Native American Church and an active Sundancer, Lenny is active in the protest of the forced relocation of the Dine people in Big Mountain, Arizona.
Lenny Foster is concerned that today's American Indian youth are less exposed to the traditions that gave him strength. "The responsibility we have as Indian people to teach our children and youths is great-alcoholism, drugs, broken homes are everywhere-you don't have the role models my generation had. By offering those most in need of support the kind of spiritual guidance he had as a boy, Lenny Foster shoulders his responsibility to pass on tradition and, in so doing, to pass on strength.
Lenny Foster


United Nations testimony says discrimination rampant

www.treatycouncil.org [cached]

In testimony before the world conference, Indian rights advocate Lenny Foster said that not only does racism exist, it is actually endorsed by state and federal governments, especially in the American prison systems.

Foster is Dineh, and founded the Navajo Prison Project in an attempt to ensure religious rights of Indian prisoner in the United States. " A paramount Native American human rights problem in the United States...is religious intolerance, the denial of the right to practice Native American tribal religion," Foster testified in Geneva on May 4. He was part of a delegation from the International Indian Treaty Council consisting of Alberto Saldamando, general counsel for the IITC, former director of California Rural legal Assistance and a member of the Mission Band of California Indians; Esteban Castro, of the Kuna people of Panama; Mario Ibarra, a Mapuche from Chile, and Don Barnes, a Upit from Alaska.
In an interview with Foster upon his return from the session, he explained that the denial of religious rights is an affront to the United States Constitution, and that such denial is clear racism. " There is a direct connection between racism, intolerance and the imprisonment of Native Americans," Foster explained.
...
Foster explained that a " disproportionately high number of Native Americans are incarcerated due to racism, and its attendants poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse. He said that in states like Montana and South Dakota, as much as 35%-40% of the prison population is Indian. In New Mexico and Arizona, it is 1%-3% of the total prison population. " That's still high compared to the number of Indian people in the state," Foster said. Arizona and New Mexico combined have about half about half a million indigenous people.
Once in the prison system, Foster explained that too many people are denied access to religious help. " For many incarcerated Native Americans, rehabilitation must include the practice of traditional religion, including the prayers and purification of the sweat lodge," Foster explained. " The tradition of wearing long hair is also important. Traditional purification and cleansing ceremonies have proven to be successful in changing attitudes and behaviors in Indian prisoners. Yet many state and federal prisons, while allowing and encouraging Christian ceremonies, systematically deny indigenous ceremonies to imprisoned Native Americans."
Foster further pointed out that there are many indigenous prisoners facing execution. As a result of continued United States implementation of the death penalty, many Indian people face execution," Foster said.
...
Foster maintains that such a double standard is racist.
...
Foster will meet with representatives of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on June 23, to further address religious freedom and Indian prisoners.


The Opposite End of China || Xinjiang & Northwest China Blog (中国的å¦ä¸€ç«¯ || æ–°ç–† & 中国西北åšå®¢): Kashgar Attack Not What It Seemed?

china.notspecial.org [cached]

In testimony before the world conference, Indian rights advocate Lenny Foster said that not only does racism exist, it is actually endorsed by state and federal governments, especially in the American prison systems.

Foster is Dineh, and founded the Navajo Prison Project in an attempt to ensure religious rights of Indian prisoner in the United States. " A paramount Native American human rights problem in the United States...is religious intolerance, the denial of the right to practice Native American tribal religion," Foster testified in Geneva on May 4. He was part of a delegation from the International Indian Treaty Council consisting of Alberto Saldamando, general counsel for the IITC, former director of California Rural legal Assistance and a member of the Mission Band of California Indians; Esteban Castro, of the Kuna people of Panama; Mario Ibarra, a Mapuche from Chile, and Don Barnes, a Upit from Alaska.
In an interview with Foster upon his return from the session, he explained that the denial of religious rights is an affront to the United States Constitution, and that such denial is clear racism. " There is a direct connection between racism, intolerance and the imprisonment of Native Americans," Foster explained.
...
Foster explained that a " disproportionately high number of Native Americans are incarcerated due to racism, and its attendants poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse. He said that in states like Montana and South Dakota, as much as 35%-40% of the prison population is Indian. In New Mexico and Arizona, it is 1%-3% of the total prison population. " That's still high compared to the number of Indian people in the state," Foster said. Arizona and New Mexico combined have about half about half a million indigenous people.
Once in the prison system, Foster explained that too many people are denied access to religious help. " For many incarcerated Native Americans, rehabilitation must include the practice of traditional religion, including the prayers and purification of the sweat lodge," Foster explained. " The tradition of wearing long hair is also important. Traditional purification and cleansing ceremonies have proven to be successful in changing attitudes and behaviors in Indian prisoners. Yet many state and federal prisons, while allowing and encouraging Christian ceremonies, systematically deny indigenous ceremonies to imprisoned Native Americans."
Foster further pointed out that there are many indigenous prisoners facing execution. As a result of continued United States implementation of the death penalty, many Indian people face execution," Foster said.
...
Foster maintains that such a double standard is racist.
...
Foster will meet with representatives of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on June 23, to further address religious freedom and Indian prisoners.


The Opposite End of China || Xinjiang & Northwest China Blog (中国的å¦ä¸€ç«¯ || æ–°ç–† & 中国西北åšå®¢): Kashgar Attack Not What It Seemed?

china.notspecial.org [cached]

In testimony before the world conference, Indian rights advocate Lenny Foster said that not only does racism exist, it is actually endorsed by state and federal governments, especially in the American prison systems.

Foster is Dineh, and founded the Navajo Prison Project in an attempt to ensure religious rights of Indian prisoner in the United States. " A paramount Native American human rights problem in the United States...is religious intolerance, the denial of the right to practice Native American tribal religion," Foster testified in Geneva on May 4. He was part of a delegation from the International Indian Treaty Council consisting of Alberto Saldamando, general counsel for the IITC, former director of California Rural legal Assistance and a member of the Mission Band of California Indians; Esteban Castro, of the Kuna people of Panama; Mario Ibarra, a Mapuche from Chile, and Don Barnes, a Upit from Alaska.
In an interview with Foster upon his return from the session, he explained that the denial of religious rights is an affront to the United States Constitution, and that such denial is clear racism. " There is a direct connection between racism, intolerance and the imprisonment of Native Americans," Foster explained.
...
Foster explained that a " disproportionately high number of Native Americans are incarcerated due to racism, and its attendants poverty, alcoholism and drug abuse. He said that in states like Montana and South Dakota, as much as 35%-40% of the prison population is Indian. In New Mexico and Arizona, it is 1%-3% of the total prison population. " That's still high compared to the number of Indian people in the state," Foster said. Arizona and New Mexico combined have about half about half a million indigenous people.
Once in the prison system, Foster explained that too many people are denied access to religious help. " For many incarcerated Native Americans, rehabilitation must include the practice of traditional religion, including the prayers and purification of the sweat lodge," Foster explained. " The tradition of wearing long hair is also important. Traditional purification and cleansing ceremonies have proven to be successful in changing attitudes and behaviors in Indian prisoners. Yet many state and federal prisons, while allowing and encouraging Christian ceremonies, systematically deny indigenous ceremonies to imprisoned Native Americans."
Foster further pointed out that there are many indigenous prisoners facing execution. As a result of continued United States implementation of the death penalty, many Indian people face execution," Foster said.
...
Foster maintains that such a double standard is racist.
...
Foster will meet with representatives of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. on June 23, to further address religious freedom and Indian prisoners.

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