Call to Action!
We are in immediate need for financial support for food, water, medical supplies, shelter, gas and auto upkeep. We are reaching out to all tribes requesting financial assistance for the walk. A 5,400 mile walk/relay across America to draw attention to the alarming epidemic of diabetics in Indian Country and throughout America while providing education on prevention and diabetic care. The walk will reach Washington DC on July 7th for a National Summit on Diabetes . We will be holding workshops and requesting all tribal leaders to join us in the battle against diabetes.
On February 14th, 2011, The Longest Walk 3 began a 5,400 mile walk/run relay across America that will reach Washington DC in July with a National Summit on Diabetes. The opening activities commenced at dawn at La Jolla Shores, California with a prayer by a local elder and Bird Singers. The 3 hour ceremony, consisting of doctors, foreigners, and speakers, ended with a pipe ceremony. The walk across America is the brain-child of Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement. When he was diagnosed in early 2009 with diabetes, he made drastic changes to his diet and exercise regime. These changes have helped him to reverse his diabetes and become an advocate for prevention and lifestyle management for diabetes. Along the way they will be conducting forums on diabetes, juice fasts, exercising, walking, healthy diets and gardening at local tribal communities. They will be visiting over 40 American Indian reservations throughout the journey. The walk will provide the opportunity to collect diabetic concerns and stories heard across America and develop this information into a personal in-depth perspective from the Native view. In Beaumont, California the walkers were greeted by Mayor Brian De Forge of Beaumont as the walkers made their way towards the Morongo Indian Reservation on Day Four of their journey across America. The mayor and other city officials presented Dennis Banks with a proclamation in support of the Longest Walk’s effort to bring attention to the large numbers of American Indians afflicted with the disease. “I think every family I know has been affected by diabetes. It is at epidemic levels," said Mayor Brian De Forge. All and all, there were over 350 people walking along the route. Local members of the Soboba participated for the six miles of their reservation. There are two routes of walkers, they walk 15 - 25 miles and runners will relay up to 100 miles every day. The southern route and northern will merge together in Virginia to walk into Washington DC on the final day of the summit.
National Summit on Diabetes
July 7th and 8th, 2011
The national summit will help raise awareness of the effects and far reach of diabetes, while providing education on prevention and diabetic care focusing on the following:
Education on prevention, Prevention of progression of prediabetes Beneficial exercise programs, Promoting healthy eating, Managing care Related illnesses ,Diabetes and birth defects, Diabetes and oral heath problems Various representatives of the federal government are being asked to participate, including, First Lady Michelle Obama, members of Congress: Departments of Health & Human Services, Indian Health Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, American Indian tribal health officials, United States Department of Agriculture, Interior Department, American Diabetes Association, Center for Disease Control and the Let’s Move campaign.
In addition to this, Banks will campaign for federal lands to be set aside, 20 million acres of prime farming land, for large vegetable gardens to begin supplying low
income diabetic people with fresh produce.
“For the rest of my life, before I enter the spirit world, I will devote my energy to doing away with diabetes. I may take on others causes, but I will never have a bigger one than this.”
Food , water, shelter and a forum platform was supplied for the walkers on the following reservations:
Barona Band of Mission Indians, Chayene Aapapo Tribe, Morongo Band of
Mission Indians, Navajo Nation, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pascua
Yaqui Tribe, Pauma Band of Mission Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseno
Indians, Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians, San Carlos Apache, Sycuan Band
of the Kumeyaay, Tohono O’odham Nation, White Mountain Apache Tribe
Financial support from the following:
Rincon Nation of Luiseno Indians
Carol & Paul Collins
Contact Information: Carol Collins - Executive assistant to Dennis Banks