On February 14th, 2011, The Longest Walk III will begin a 5,400 mile walk/run relay across America. The purpose of which is to draw attention to the alarming epidemic of diabetics in Indian Country.
Led by A.I.M. co-founder Dennis Banks, the walk will begin at La Jolla Shores, California (San Diego), and ending in Washington, D.C. on July 8th. The route will be southern based which will include the states of: Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Banks, himself a diabetic, said that “Diabetes has reached an epidemic state in Indian Country and the percentage of diabetes amongst Native Americans may be as high as 75%” (Indian Health Service’s estimate is at 35%). “Surgery involving amputation is very common”, Banks said, “making Native people Partial Indians”.
Key organizers in each state are developing evening lectures by Banks who will also conduct seminars in juicing your vegetables. “Vegetables”, he said “are becoming extinct”, and wants to aid in a massive “Reversing Diabetes” program across Native America.
California, which will host the opening ceremonies, is being directed by Orlando Vigil of Taos New Mexico. He will guide and walk with members of many Southern California tribes to and through the southern tribal nations of the Diegueno Kumeyaay, Lusenio, Serrano, Cahuilla, Chemeuuai, and Quechan territories.
The walk will also 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 addition to this, the U.S.D.A and Banks will campaign for Indigenous lands to set aside 2,000,000 acres of prime farming land into large vegetable gardens to begin supplying our people with fresh produce. “Everyone should have a garden for good nutrition and exercise. We are working on a 50 year program to reverse the symptoms of diabetes. If we don’t start now, in 50 years we will all be diabetic, with no future at all,” Banks said.
The opening activities will commence at 6:00 a.m. at La Jolla Shores, San Diego, California with a prayer by a local elder, Bird Singers opening with a 3 hour ceremony of doctors, foreigners, and speakers, and ending with a pipe ceremony, including Dennis Banks to provide detailed key information pertaining to the walk.
Should you wish to assist with the largest, most historic walk for the fight against reversing diabetes, please contact The Longest Walk III website for any further information. Any contributions before and during the walk will be greatly appreciated and can be arranged by calling (763) – 242-4242 or joining the walk.
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