Bluemont, VA – Dennis Banks, American Indian Movement (AIM) co-founder, held a sacred prayer pipe ceremony Saturday (Sept. 27) at the Paleo-Indian Site found in Bluemont VA after concluding AIM’s 2014 “Ride to Reverse Diabetes” in Washington D.C.
Dennis Banks, 78 years old, led the 18,000 mile run across America educating Americans about reversing diabetes. The “Ride to Reverse Diabetes” began on Aug. 23 from Seattle WA and San Francisco, Los Angeles & San Diego, Calif. and ended Saturday, Sept. 27 in Washington D.C. by the White House.
Following the conclusion of the “Ride to Reveres Diabetes” campaign, a small contingent visited the sacred ceremonial Paleo-Indian site in Northern Virginia. Paleo-Indian site guardians Chris (Comeswithclouds) White and René White (Feather) are custodians of the site which dates last used 10,470 years ago (see Thermoluminescence Dating)
Chris gave the AIM elders and young leaders a tour of the concentric rings, the sacred alter, standing stones and other features of advanced knowledge left behind thousands of years ago.
Following the tour, Banks led a sacred prayer pipe ceremony with the AIM group and Native American Church of Virginia to honor the sacred land and land legacy of this area’s ancestors.
Attending the sacred ceremony were: Dennis Banks, his daughter Darla Banks, nephew Adrian Sayers, granddaughter Mariah Lindsay, Leonard Seabolt, Mark Winslow, Bryan Halfday, Helen Wolfe, Kenneth Reid, Maria Pasho, Curt and Sheila Hansen, Diana Mullis and site guardians Chris & René White.
Banks gave thanks to the thousands of people who supported the campaign and blessed him and his team of champions with hospitality, gas cards, food, shelter and friendship at various routes across America during the month-long campaign. Around the sacred fire, Banks also compassionately shared real stories about people whom he met across America who feel “hopeless,” many in wheel chairs and with no feet or legs.
Banks said he dedicates the rest of his life to help reduce the suffering from diabetes while he balances that with his dedication ad love to his family, especially his grandchildren (grandchildren Mariah (below), daughter Darla (right)).
“I have never seen anyone more authentic about saving lives and concerned for his family than Dennis Banks,” said René Lumbee Indian and president of the Native American Church of Virginia.
“While we are not members of AIM, like Dennis, we are called to help reduce the suffering in the world," she added. "We offered to help Dennis and he accepted. We don’t know all the next steps, but we know our steps will include praying and looking to non-profits, educators and others for help.”
Chris and René are involved in charitable work helping veterans, senior citizens, artists and many others. They are members of Oklevueha Native American Church, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and they are also officers with the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem for the United States and Priory of Indigenous Peoples Worldwide. Together they volunteer to connect people and resources, transforming suffering to healing.
Following the sacred prayer pipe ceremony, Chris and René hosted the 15-member group for feast and fellowship.
The couple operates the Native American Church at their Sanctuary on the Trail, in the remote Virginia Blue Ridge Mountain. Their church’s vision is to “help leaders first,” “acknowledge the Indigenous of the Americas for their global contributions,” and “reduce suffering in the world.”
Before leaving the D.C. area, Banks was scheduled to visit members of Congress and present them with a national diabetes policy. He decided to delay his meeting as he studies his research findings and develops a clear way ahead.
Commentary About the Diabetes Pandemic
“I see a garden growing in the desert. What was once dry and desolate, will abound with health, vitality and spiritual renewal. I see this as an opportunity for Native Peoples to unite at a family level, community level, tribal level, national level and global level, to return to their roots in the use of earth-based plant medicines and natural foods to lead the world in natural healing, which includes and is not restricted to diabetes.
The “Ride to Reverse Diabetes” is a cross-country motorcycle run to:
Thank You in Advance
Thank you in advance for your generous contribution. In contributing you are helping advance and partnering with the ideal. Your contribution makes it possible for us help others who are suffering, because we believe suffering in the world is impossible to ignore.
Special shout out to David and Mary Ann Nalls of Nalls Farmers Market for donating 52 pounds of local Virginia grown apples for the AIM team to enjoy and share as they return home in all four directions.