Health | National

Dennis Banks raising diabetes awareness on Longest Walk

Activist Dennis Banks has spent most of his life fighting for Indian rights and now he's fighting a potentially bigger threat in Indian Country: diabetes.

Banks, 75, has been diagnosed with the disease. He has made major changes in his diet and lifestyle in order to lose weight and become more healthy.

"Food is medicine. We have to look at it that way," Banks said at the Yakama Healthy Heart Conference on the Yakama Nation in Washington, The Yakima Herald-Republic reported. "We have to start viewing food as native people again."

Banks is one of the organizers of the Longest Walk 3. After visiting 54 reservations so far, he said as many as 50 percent of American Indians suffer from diabetes, with some reservations seeing a rate as high as 90 percent.

The walk will end in Washington, D.C., on July 8.

Get the Story:
Yakamas encouraged to embrace active life to fight diabetes (The Yakima Herald-Republic 5/17)

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Native Sun News: Longest Walk raises awareness of diabetes (4/8)