Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement

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University of Oklahoma Press, Feb 1, 2005 - History - 352 pages
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Dennis Banks, an American Indian of the Ojibwa Tribe and a founder of the American Indian Movement, is one of the most influential Indian leaders of our time. In Ojibwa Warrior, written with acclaimed writer and photographer Richard Erdoes, Banks tells his own story for the first time and also traces the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM). The authors present an insider's understanding of AIM protest events--the Trail of Broken Treaties march to Washington, D.C.; the resulting takeover of the BIA building; the riot at Custer, South Dakota; and the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee. Enhancing the narrative are dramatic photographs, most taken by Richard Erdoes, depicting key people and events.
 

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Ojibwa warrior: Dennis Banks and the rise of the American Indian Movement

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The American Indian Movement's (AIM) initial purpose upon its founding in 1968 was to protect the civil rights of Native Americans living in urban areas. Its scope quickly expanded as AIM turned to ... Read full review

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This book definately had my attention... I met Dennis, when I was about 6 yrs. old. I don't know him personally, but this meeting took place 40 years ago. I highly doubt, he would remember me. But, through the years, I have followed his career, just to see, where I might find him... It's like he's an old friend, someone you could never forget, an impressionable man. I have seen him, through the years... But I always shy away, to say hello. We have friends, in common. But I know that someday I'll have the guts and finally say something. So... reviewing this book, is close enough, for me, right now. Just a few things, I noticed wrong... On pg 62, you miss-spelled Francis Fairbanks, it's supposed to be Frances Fairbanks, a women's name. On pg 71, photo of John F.L.D. look closely on left of photo, an indian's face looks carved in the stone. On pg 81, Russell Means, Sioux... it should say what band of sioux. On pg 87, It says Vernon and Clyde are Lakotas... As I White Earth enrollee, I know that's wrong. And I am also part Oglala Lakota, my dad is from the little town of Oglala. Very Sincerely, Natalie One Feather I can be reached by e-mail... mazashawhe2002@yahoo.com 

Selected pages

Contents

A Night to Remember
3
At the Center of the Universe
12
The Yellow Bus
24
Interlude
32
Machiko
43
We AIM Not to Please
58
Crow Dog
95
On the Warpath
105
A Nation Reborn
181
The Stand Down
196
The Waters of Justice Have Been Polluted
210
The Symbionese Liberation Army
228
The Informer
266
Fields of Terror
284
Outlawed
299
Exile
312

Yellow Thunder
114
Fishing in Troubled Waters
121
One Hell of a Smoke Signal
126
The Town with the Gunsmoke Flavor
145
A Place Called Wounded Knee
157
The Siege
167
Onondaga
329
Freedom
338
Suddenly I Am an Elder
348
Looking Back
354
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Dennis James Banks was born on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota on April 12, 1937. When he was 5 years old, he was taken from his family and sent to a series of government schools for Indians. He ran away often and at the age of 17, he returned to Leech Lake. Unable to find work, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Japan. While there, he married a Japanese woman, had a child with her, and went absent without leave. He was arrested and returned to the United States. After being discharged, he moved to Minneapolis where he was arrested in a burglary and went to jail for two and a half years. After being released in 1968, he co-founded the American Indian Movement to fight the oppression and endemic poverty of Native Americans. He led often-violent insurrections to protest the treatment of Native Americans and the nation's history of injustices against its indigenous peoples. These included a six-day takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, an armed 71-day occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, and a protest in Custer, South Dakota over a white man being charged with involuntary manslaughter instead of murder after killing an Indian man. The protest became a face-off with Custer police that resulted in the murdered man's mother being beaten by officers. In 1975, Banks was found guilty of riot and assault with a deadly weapon for his role in the riot in Custer. Facing up to 15 years in prison, he jumped bail. He was a fugitive for nine years before finally turning himself in and serving 14 months in prison. Once released, he moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation to work as a drug addiction and alcoholism counselor. He appeared in several movies and documentaries including War Party, Thunderheart, The Last of the Mohicans, Older Than America, We Shall Remain, Part V: Wounded Knee, A Good Day to Die, and Nowa Cumig: The Drum Will Never Stop. His autobiography, Ojibwa Warrior: Dennis Banks and the Rise of the American Indian Movement written with Richard Erdoes, was published in 2005. He died from complications of pneumonia following open-heart surgery on October 29, 2017 at the age of 80.

Richard Erdoes traveled a long way from his birthplace in Vienna, Austria, to become a prominent writer on Native American issues and the Indian Civil Rights Movement. Born on July 7, 1912 into an artistic family, Erdoes moved to the United States where he lived and worked as a magazine illustrator and photographer. While visiting an American Indian reservation, Erdoes was shocked and outraged at conditions he found there. Although Erdoes had illustrated many books during his long career, the first illustrated work of his own dealing with Native Americans was The Pueblo Indians (1967). While doing a painting and portfolio for Life magazine on a Sioux Indian Reservation Erdoes met an old medicine man that asked him to write his biography. This resulted in Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions (1971). Erdoes lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he writes, paints, and is active in Native American issues.

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