In his 2005 autobiography, American Indian activist Dennis Banks openly gives thanks to the American Indian Movement (AIM) which in his humble opinion “will always be strong because it is a spiritual movement.” Banks also offers a viewpoint that in many ways sums up why he has spent decades in the struggle to better the lives of his people–“Right now this earth, our Mother, is in distress. She needs our help. Can we–all of us–respond? I don’t know, but I am convinced that if we don’t respond, we will be in peril and our future will lay in question” (2005, p. 362).
Jeffrey Wigand, in his day was many things. With a PhD in biochemistry, (“Biography” 1), Dr. Wigand worked as an educator, in senior management positions for businesses such as Johnson &Johnson and Pfizer, and also as the Vice President of Research and Development for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (Biography Channel, 3). It was while working in this position that Dr. Wigand became a whistle-blower when he cooperated with the government during their scrutiny of the tobacco industries practices (“Biography, 2), specifically testifying in court, as well as presenting his case in the Wall Street Journal and on 60 Minutes, that the tobacco industry had a deliberate and well-though-out campaign of disinformation to keep the public in ignorance about the link between tobacco use and cancer (Biography Channel, 3). Even today, Dr. Wigand has carried on his anti-tobacco campaign in his current position as the founder of Smoke Free Kids, Inc, a nonprofit organization dedicated to youth education on the consequences of tobacco use.