Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Longest Walk 3. Discussion »
BALTIMORE - Even though the Longest Walk 3 - Reversing Diabetes officially ended on Friday, a large remnant of those who stayed behind attended the Baltimore American Indian Center Powwow and Art Festival at the Maryland State Fair Grounds on Saturday.
Long Walkers in Dance Arena
Dennis Banks, the national leader of the Longest Walk, carried an eagle staff as he led the Grand Entry into the dance arena. Some two dozen Long Walkers entered behind the color guard and flags of various tribal nations carried in the Longest Walk during the walk's five and half month journey.
Banks, who was one of the co-founders of the American Indian Movement, gave his stump speech that he has given throughout the country about diabetes.
"We have to fight this war on diabetes. Too many of our people are losing limps because of diabetes. Each year, 54,000 Native people lose limbs as result of diabetes. The Creator will wondering why so many people are going to the spirit world as part Indians," said Banks.
Craig Luther - Diné
A thunderous applause given to the Long Walkers as a gesture of appreciation for their dedication of walking across America that brought the message of the ill effects diabetes has among the American Indian and Alaska Native population throughout the United States.
The Long Walkers were honored in a song and was given with a blanket dance which allowed for powwow guests to donate cash in a blanket that was carried by Long Walkers. The funds were used to help offset the costs associated with Longest Walk.
Craig Luther, Diné, one of seven individuals to cross all the way across America, dressed in his regalia and danced.
Several American Indians from California who attended the National Diabetes Summit and walked into Washington DC visited the powwow, as well.
The powwow was organized by the Baltimore American Indian Center with support from the Maryland State Arts Council.
posted July 11, 2011 8:15 am edt
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