American Indian activist Dennis Banks dies at 80

The family of American Indian activist Dennis Banks says he has died. He was 80.

Banks, who lived on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, was a co-founder of the American Indian Movement and a leader of the Wounded Knee occupation in 1973.

Banks' family wrote on his Facebook page that he died Sunday night. He had developed pneumonia following heart surgery this month. His family says he did not want to be put on life support.

The family says that as Banks took his last breaths, one son sang him four songs for his journey. Family members also sang him the American Indian Movement song as his final send-off.

Daughter Tashina Banks Rama says the family plans to hold wakes in Minneapolis and on the Leech Lake Reservation. She says details are still being worked out, but the wakes will be held Wednesday evening at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and Thursday and Friday on the reservation. He'll be buried there Saturday.

© 2017 Associated Press


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