Over the past several months, indigenous groups in Canada have been banding together to protest the alleged eroding of their tribal rights. Under the name “Idle No More,” the group has been holding rallies and protests across Canada and internationally. Louisville supporters of the movement held their own flash mob in solidarity yesterday at Mid City Mall. Judging from a video posted here, they had a pretty good-sized crowd.
The groups and their supporters are protesting a budget bill introduced by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that would change Canada’s Indian Act. Many fear it will expose Indian lands to private developers, and by changing the Navigable Waters Protection Act could result in the pollution of unspoiled wilderness.
Here’s a story NPR ran last week about the movement, and about Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s month-long partial hunger strike.
From local organizer Thomas Pearce:
Solidarity rallies in Minnesota a Flash mob at the Mall of the America’s in Minneapolis turned out over 2000 indigenous people, at the Mishiwaka Mall in Indiana several hundred Potawatomi and Ojibwa folks turned out and sang round dance songs with signs disrupting Christmas shopping, Railways have been blocked peacefully, as well as highways. Even Indianapolis last weekend over 100 activists showed up at the War Memorial to honor soldiers who fought Tecumseh and the Mexican War to show solidarity. Rallies are planned in Kentucky, Southern and Western Indiana, and Arizona in the coming weeks. Saturday in Chicago folks are rallying at the Canadian Consulate at noon. Most events are flash mob events and only 1 or two have resulted in arrests.