Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Dennis Banks, Ojibwe, will receive the Living Legends Award tonight in Washington DC for his contributions as a co-founder of the American Indian Movement and his ongoing committed to the well being of the American Indian community.
Dennis Banks - Ojibwe
This year's theme of the awards ceremony is "Am I My Brother's Keeper?"
“We seek to honor people who have made contributions to bettering humanity,”
said Doreen Hines, the executive director of Human Symphony Foundation, the non-profit organization that gives out the awards.
Past awardees include: Congressman John Lewis, journalist Juan Williams, Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith, peace activist Leymah Gbowee and several others.
“We purposely sought out an American Indian to honor,”
commented Markus Williams, artistic director of Living Legends Awards.
“After I did research on Dennis Banks, I knew he deserves this honor.”
"So much of what was taught about civil rights involved black and white issues, obviously there were other groups in this country that needed their civil rights. Dennis Banks did that for American Indians"
Dennis Banks was a co-founder of the American Indian Movement. It began as a watch group in Minneapolis in the summer of 1968, as the result of a meeting to discuss the fact that some 200 American Indians were rounded up each Saturday night at bars.
Soon, the organization became involved in other issues facing American Indians throughout the country. In 1972, the American Indian Movement took over the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington DC.
In early 1973, the American Indian Movement took over and occupied Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for 71 days, which some have come to call Wounded Knee II. At the hamlet, US Marshalls, National Guard and other law enforcement surrounded the American Indian Movement with heavy ammunition
Banks life story was featured in "A Good Day to Die" a documentary film that has received several film festival awards.
The award ceremony will be streamed live
posted February 25, 2012 10:50 am est
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