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Banks a strong voice for Homa peopleBy Carol Franch
Dennis Banks, a Native American political activist who travels the world to address American Indian issues, spoke to a crowded room on April 17 in the Native American Resource Center located in Old Main.
The discussion, “The Sacred Run and Native History” allowed Banks, a member of the Anishinabe tribe and cofounder of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to speak about his many life experiences, as an author, lecturer, activist and teacher.
In the 70s he was an icon in the Native American community who made significant contributions to the rights of the Native American community, Dr. Charles F. Harrington, provost, said. “He really is the man,” the provost said.
The lecturer also voiced concern for The Homa nation, Native Americans that are located SW of New Orleans. Many Homa people, the first to inhabit the area, are still missing after hurricane Katrina.
“I plan to raise my voice all the way to Washington for the Homas,” Banks said. He continued to thank the Wal-Mart Corporation, who provided assistance and kindness to the Homas, when the Red Cross and FEMA did not.
In 1978, Banks set up the first spiritual run, which went from Davis to Los Angeles, as well as organizing The Longest Walk from Alcatraz (located in San Francisco, Calif.) to Washington D.C.
“We traveled to deliver a message. We as human beings have a job: to live in harmony on Mother Earth,” Banks said.
Both events were constituted to halt legislation abrogating Indian treaties with the US government.
Banks is an award winning author for his autobiography “Sacred Soul” and has acted in movies including “Thunderheart,” “The Last of the Mohicans” and “War Party.”