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

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University of Oklahoma Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 362 pages
28 Reviews
"Born in 1937 and raised by his grandparents on the Leach Lake reservation in Minnesota, Dennis Banks grew up learning traditional Ojibwa lifeways. As a young child he was torn from his home and forced to attend a government boarding school designed to assimilate Indian children into white culture. After years of being "white man-ized" in these repressive schools, Banks enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, shipping out to Japan when he was only seventeen years old." "After returning to the states, Banks lived in poverty in the Indian slums of Minnesota until he was arrested for stealing groceries to feed his growing family. Although his white accomplice was freed on probation, Banks was sent to prison. There he became determined to educate himself. Hearing about the African American struggle for civil rights, he recognized that American Indians must take up a similar fight. Upon his release, Banks became a founder of AIM, the American Indian Movement, which soon inspired Indians from many tribes to join the fight for American Indian rights. Through AIM, Banks sought to confront racism with activism rooted deeply in Native religion and culture." "Ojibwa Warrior relates Dennis Banks's inspiring life story and the story of the rise of AIM - from the 1972 "Trail of Broken Treaties" march to Washington, D.C., which ended in the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building, to the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee, when Lakota Indians and AIM activists from all over the country occupied the site of the infamous 1890 massacre of three hundred Sioux men, women, and children to protest the bloodshed and corruption at the Pine Ridge Lakota reservation." "Banks tells the inside story of the seventy-one-day siege, his unlikely nighttime escape and interstate flight, and his eventual shootout with authorities at an FBI roadblock in Oregon. Pursued and hunted, he managed to reach California. There, authorities refused to extradite him to South Dakota, where the attorney general had declared that the best thing to do with Dennis Banks was to "put a bullet through his head."" "Years later, after a change in state govenment, Banks gave himself up to South Dakota authorities. Sentenced to two years in prison, he was paroled after serving one year to teach students Indian history at the Lone Man school Pine Ridge. Since then, Dennis Banks has organized "Scared Runs" for young people, teaching American Indian ways, religion, and philosophy worldwide. Now operating a successful business on the reservation, he continues the fight for Indian rights."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GalenWiley - LibraryThing

"Born in 1937 and raised by his grandparents on the Leach Lake reservation in Minnesota, Dennis Banks grew up learning traditional Ojibwa lifeways. As a young child he was torn from his home and ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Dkolacinski - Goodreads

Where has the righteous anger of my youth gone? I wish I could hold to my heart the same mirror Dennis Banks has done in the memoir. Completely honest? No, since no one can be truly honest reflecting ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

-->Dennis Banks--> has been an activist, counselor, teacher, and consultant on American Indian rights. He now owns a natural foods company in Federal Dam, Minnesota, that follows the traditions of his youth. -->-->

Richard Erdoes is the author of more than 21 books, including "Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions," and "American Indian Myths and Legends," An Austrian-born historian, ethnographer, and artist, he has contributed to many publications, including the "New York Times, Time, Life, Fortune, Smithsonian," and the "Saturday Evening Post," He lives in New Mexico.

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