Native News Online photo by Mark Charles
“WE ARE STILL HERE” is an important message for Americans to see
Published July 15, 2016
WASHINGTON– Dennis Banks, the co-founder of the American Indian Movement, has been fighting for American Indian rights for five decades. On Friday, he led the Longest Walk 5 – War on Drugs & Domestic Violence into Washington, D.C. to host a day-long rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
The message “We are still here” was spelled out for the nation to see with large letters that were placed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Banks reflected on the 3,600-mile journey this year’s route that took the Longest Walk across the southern portion of the United States. The Longest Walk 5 begin on February 13, 2016 in LaJolla, California, outside of San Diego.
Banks the Longest Walks since 1978 when the first Longest Walk highlighted proposed legislation that threatened to eliminate treaties that were signed with tribal nations and the United States government.
Since then, Longest Walks take on a theme to highlight a problem in Indian Country. Banks chose this year’s theme of drugs because of the serious problem in Indian Country with drugs and domestic abuse.
As it made its way across the continent, the Longest Walk made presentation about the ill-effects drugs are having on the American Indian population in Indian Country. Added to the message was domestic violence faced among American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Domestic violence was added late last year after Banks’ granddaughter was murdered in a domestic abuse incident in Minnesota.
Many American Indian nations were represented at the rally. Several flags from Indian Country were posted to represent the great tribal nations.
Mark Charles, Arthur Jacobs and Weldon Grover contributed to this story from Washington, D.C.
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