Interview with Noted Indigenous and Prisoner Rights Activist Lenny Foster

Saturday, February 26th, 2022

6:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM CST / 4:00 PM MST / 3:00 PM PST

Event Information


On February 26, a special 2-hour long interview with noted Indigenous and Prisoner Rights activist Lenny Foster will take place via Zoom webinar. The webinar will be simulcast via CreaTV San Jose. 

Foster is the retired Director of the Navajo Nation Corrections Project and has served as a spiritual adviser for over 2,000 Indigenous inmates in 96 prisons in the U.S. prison system. He has co-authored legislation in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah to allow Native American spiritual and religious practice in prisons, which has led to significant reductions in recidivism. He is a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, a sun dancer, and a member of the Native American Church. He has been with the American Indian Movement since 1970 and has participated in actions including Alcatraz, Black Mesa, Raymond Yellow Thunder, the Trail of Broken Treaties, Wounded Knee '73, the Menominee Monastery Occupation, Shiprock Fairchild Occupation, the Longest Walk (1978) and the Big Mountain land struggle. He was a 1993 recipient of the City of Phoenix Dr. Martin Luther King Human Rights Award. He has testified to the United Nations and to the U.S. Congress. Foster is a spiritual adviser to Leonard Peltier.

Foster will share some of his life experiences and give a first- hand view of many pivotal events over the last half-century. He will speak of efforts which he has been part of to ensure that Indigenous prisoners in the United States are allowed to practice their spiritual and religious rights. He will speak about Leonard Peltier and the efforts that are being made to obtain Peltier's release from what many consider an unjust prison sentence.

Lenny Foster is one of the last people living to have taken part in many of the most important human rights campaigns of the last half-century. In terms of securing religious freedoms for Indigenous prisoners in the United States, his experience is unique. He has never written a book on his experiences and hopes that this interview will be a living testament for future generations.

This event is co-sponsored by the DSA National Religion and Socialism Working Group, the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, and the DSA Santa Cruz chapter.