The film staged on the highly criticized extradition of Peltier is sensible on the review of the circumstance that led to this event. It all roots from the harsh relation between the Americans and Indians. Back in1865, the Americans had succeeded in a civil war against the Indians and the Native Americans. After the war, the Northern Capitalism embarked on the complete resettlement on the West. The Indian Societies received this harshly. This led to a genocidal war that left many killed and displaced. In 1960s and 1970s, there was a major unrest and protests made against the Northern Violation of Treaties that had resulted in high levels of poverty and joblessness among the Indians and the Native Americans in India (Churchill, 1988).
The American Indian Movement came on the forefront and demanded that the senate discusses on matters pertaining the conditions of the Native Americans. This led to a major standoff between the Bureau of Indian affairs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. At this time, Dick Wilson defeated the founder of AIM, Russell, and occupied the seat as the chair of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council (Churchill, 1988). The oppression of the Indians increased due to the hatred between Dick and Russell. This act of impunity from Oglala was against the wishes of the US central government. It got worse than ever when Dick formed the goon, Guardian of the Oglala Nation, which increased rates of deaths and attacks. The FBI and the BIA joined the goon in oppression of the Indians. It was at this moment that Leonard Peltier, an activist within the AIM movement came to protect the Indians in Oglala.
In this particular film, two FBI agents, Jack R. Coler and Ronald, were in pursuit of a young man named Jimmy Eagle. Eagle came from Pine Ridge. The two FBI officials race a red car that they believe is in possession of Jimmy. After the clash, Jack and Ronald are short dead (Trimbach, 2008).
After a rigorous investigation that follows the events of this happening, two suspects are reined in court. This is a good move by the FBI. It is a move that portrays a picture that justice is going to be achieved in ensuring that the culprits are brought to book. However, the jury under this case finds that there was no enough evidence that connected the murder of the two FBI agents to these two suspects. The jury sets them free.
During these proceedings, Peltier predicts the danger that he faces and flees to Canada. He feels that in Canada, he is safe from the hands of the FBI who might wish to interrogate him. This is because he was present at the scene of crime. The US government does something whose perception is to demonstrate their participation in pursuit of justices. It hands over sworn affidavits to the Canadian government that permits the arrest of Peltier. This is a good move, but done with an awful procedure.
An Indian woman in the name of Myrtle Poor Bear signs the affidavits. Bear is forced by the FBI into signing an affidavit that fixes Peltier to the events that led to the death of the two FBI agents. Bear is first threatened that her child would be confiscated from her if she does not cooperate with the FBI agents. The FBI makes her believe that jailing her for 15 year for an offence of conspiracy was possible. They claim to be in possession of a witness who is capable of fixing bear in that mess. Frightened for her child’s life and for her own life, Bear signs the affidavit. The affidavit claims that she was Peltier’s girlfriend and that he was involved in the murder. However, it goes ahead and indicates that she was not at the scene at the time of the crime. This stage of the film makes one feel what extend the US government can oppress and deny justice to the innocent. It is a provocation stage.
When the FBI realizes that there are pending holes in their fake affidavit, they proceed to a second smarter move of producing a second affidavit and a third affidavit. In fact, these final two affidavits contradict the first, when Bear forcefully swears that she was indeed present at the crime scene at the time of the crime. This is wrong move by the FBI. The film openly shows a case of forcefully denial of justice.
On realizing the extent of their fake witnesses, the FBI illegally denies the defense team to be in possession of the first affidavit sworn in by bear. This is about the contradictions that it possesses. The move is so touching. It raises ones feelings of humanity. Such arrogant denial of justice is cruel.
This gets worse on following and examining the court proceedings. To begin with, the jury under this case has a fixed mind before he makes the rulings. His possession of an ugly autopsy showing the colored deaths of the two FBI agents illustrates everything. He silently proclaims to be heading for a definite trial against Peltier. Worse of all, the jury is constantly escorted by the FBI. Their presence and closeness shows their level of involvement in the case.
Indeed, it is denial of justice to everyone when denial of justice to anyone, anywhere, takes place. I totally agree to these views after going through this film and being so moved by the level of injustice portrayed. It is my view that this case should be reviewed with urgency. The review date scheduled to take place in 2024 is unrealistic (Arden, 2004). Denial of justice took place and its pursuance ought to be urgent.