BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF DENNIS BANKS
Dennis Banks is a Native American leader, teacher, lecturer, activist, and author. He is an Anishinabe, Ojibwa, born on Leech Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. In 1968 he co-founded the American Indian Movement (AIM), and establishing it to protect the traditional ways of Indian people and to engage in legal cases protecting treaty rights of Natives-such as hunting and fishing, trapping, wild riceing.
Banks earned an Associates of Arts degree at Davis University and taught at Deganawida Quetzecoatl (DQ) University (an all Indian-controlled institution), where he became the first American Indian chancellor.
In 1994, Banks led the four-month Walk for Justice (WFJ) from Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to Washington, DC. The purpose was to bring public awareness to current Native issues. Banks agreed to head the “Bring Peltier Home” campaign in 1996 bringing Native Americans and other supporters together in a national drive for executive clemency for political prisoner Leonard Peltier.
He also had roles in the movies War Party, The Last of the Mohicans, and Thunderheart. A musical tape “Still Strong” featuring Banks’ original work as well as traditional Native American songs was completed in’93 and a musical video with the same name was released in’95.
Source: American Indian Movement