Banks is an Anishinabe elder, founder of AIM, participant in the occupation of Alcatraz and in the protection of Wounded Knee. He co-founded the annual sacred runs across the US and abroad in 1978. This is an invitation to join or spread the word.
Recorded at the Roxie, San Francisco, February 2, 2006.
Dennis Banks, co-founder of AIM, participant in the occupation of Alcatraz and in the defense of Wounded Knee, and co-founder of the annual Sacred Run, spoke on the eve of the 2006 run from San Francisco to Washington, DC.
This is a moving, unedited, 27 minute speech on the origins of the run, the way walking changes people's lives, Native American land rights, the names of the many tribes that will host the walk along the way, the occupation of Alcatraz, his time in prison, and his meeting with Cindy Sheehan when he joined her in Crawford. This is an appeal to join, meet or support the walk.
The March begins after a sunrise ceremony on Alcatraz, San Francisco Bay, on February 11th and ends in Washington, DC, on April 22. Check out the route (which crosses CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, LA, MS, AL, TN, SC, NC, VA, to Washington DC) at:
This recording has no introduction. Please write your own from the material above and the biography of Dennis Banks amazing life on his web site:
- or from the quotes below:
Dennis Banks is Anishinabe, born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. In 1968 he co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM). AIM participated in the occupation of Alcatraz Island where demands were made that all federal surplus property be returned to Indian control. In 1972 AIM organized and led the Trail of Broken Treaties' caravan across the U.S. to Washington, D.C. and spearheaded the move on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota in 1973 to oust corruption and the U.S. appointed chairman. These activities led to the occupation of Wounded Knee and a siege of 71 days which received national attention. Banks was the principal negotiator and leader of the Wounded Knee forces.
Dennis Banks established the first spiritual run from Davis to Los Angeles, California in 1978 and organized the Longest Walk from Alcatraz to Washington, D.C. that same year. Since then it has become a multi-cultural, international event with participants from around the world joining Native American runners to carry the message of the sacredness of all Life and of humankind's relationship to the planet, Mother Earth. Each year, Banks leads Sacred Runs. As of 1996, Banks has led runners over 58,000 miles through the United States, Alaska, Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.