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Leech Lake offices to close Friday in honor of Banks

Dennis Banks (Native News Online photo)

LEECH LAKE—Leech Lake offices will close Friday in honor of Dennis Banks, who died Sunday and age 80.

The Leech Lake Tribal Council and band staff offered condolences to Banks' family and friends in a news release Wednesday.

A prominent American Indian activist and Leech Lake band member, Banks co-founded the American Indian Movement in the late '60s, occupied Alcatraz Island, organized a "Trail of Broken Treaties" caravan to Washington, D.C., and led a weeks-long standoff with federal agents at Wounded Knee, S.D.

"We will be forever grateful for his contributions towards recognition of Native American social issues and his contributions to building a stronger native community," the release said.

All Leech Lake government officers will be closed Friday so staff may attend services for Banks. A wake is scheduled for Thursday at Northern Lights Casino, and wake services also is scheduled for Friday at Banks' home in Sugar Point and a traditional burial will take place Saturday at the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig Cemetery at Battle Point.