The True Story of the American Indian Movement

The True Story of the American Indian Movement

2020/07/05

In 2008, more than 800 people gathered together to repeat The Longest Walk. As with the first walk, the protest took five months as people walked from San Francisco to Washington, DC. According to Dennis Banks, The Longest Walk II was to bring awareness to environmental issues as well as sacred sites. Having noticed the effects of global warming on reservations, they decided to make environmental issues the centerpiece of the walk, while still raising a variety of critical issues as well.



Protection of sacred sites had been demanded 30 years before during the first walk, and while places like the Liberty Bell and Arlington National Cemetery receive protections, there continue to be no equal protections for Native peoples' sacred sites. Another issue noted by Banks was the return of artifacts and bones that continue to be kept in universities rather than being allowed a proper burial.


This time, when The Longest Walk II reached Washington, DC, they wouldn't be ignored by the government. According to PBS, when The Longest Walk II arrived on July 11, 2008, Congressman John Conyers accepted their 30-page manifesto, stating, "It has demonstrated to us in the Congress that climate change, social injustice, and a broken health care system are challenges that demand real solutions in the here and now."
















The True Story of the American Indian Movement

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