Banks, Dennis(1932– ) Ojibwa activist; born in Leech Lake, Minn. Educated in Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding schools, he cofounded, with George Mitchell, the American Indian Movement (1968). He was a leader in such protest actions as the Trail of Broken Treaties (1972) and the occupation of Wounded Knee (1973). Convicted in 1975 on charges stemming from a South Dakota demonstration, he was granted asylum by California governor Jerry Brown the following year, but he returned to South Dakota in 1984 to serve time in prison. In 1992 he appeared in the movie The Last of the Mohicans.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.