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Native activist gets into food business

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Dennis Banks, who helped found the nation's best-known American Indian activist organization, is taking business into his own hands — the business of making maple syrup.

The leader of the American Indian Movement has formed the Dennis Banks Wild Rice & Natural Organic Foods Co., which sells maple syrup, wild rice, candy cakes and sugar.

"Native people love wild rice and maple syrup," said Banks, a leader of the 73-day occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D., in 1973. Banks, 65, sees his company as a way to make a little money — he has no pension — and to provide jobs on the reservation.