TODAY: Round Dance Flash Mob at Kennedy Plaza
At 4:15 p.m., local Native Americans from the Wauchaunat Band of the Narragansett Nation and their supporters will descend on Kennedy Plaza and pledge to “Idle No More.”
According to a release written by Raymond Two Hawks Watson, area natives will gather in flash-mob format for a “show of solidarity on the part of Rhode Island/New England natives for the Idle No More movement.”
The grassroots movement began in early October in response to Canada’s Bill C45. According to Idle No More website and other sources, Bill C45, which was passed in December, affects the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Indian Act.
Idle No More supporters claim the bill is a violation of Canada’s First Nation treaty rights. Concerns have been raised over a new designation and surrender process of Indian reserve lands, on-reserve voting rights and changes that cut the protection of millions of Canadian lakes and rivers down to less than 200.
Idle No More co-organizer, Sylvia McAdam, explains: “Bill C45 is not just about a budget. It is a direct attack on First Nations lands and on the bodies of water we all share from across this country.”
Demonstrations of solidarity have spread to the United States, the U.K., Australia and all corners of Canada. On December 11, Idle No More co-organizer and chief of the Attawapiskat band, Theresa Spence, launched a hunger strike to motivate a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Today is day twenty-eight of Spence’s strike. She’s based out of a tipi on the frozen Ottawa River beside Parliament Hill.
Today, New England’s natives and non-native supporters will also take to the chilly air to show their solidarity. In Providence's Kennedy Plaza, the group will perform a Native American Round Dance, an expression of love, unity and peace amongst those who are a part of the circle.
“It does not matter your race, creed, color, direction, tribe or nation,” Raymond Two Hawks says in the release. “If you support righteousness and truth for all people, please come out to support.”
See below for a video of the Idle No More Round Dance Flash Mob held at Faneuil Hall in Boston on New Year’s Eve.
Click here for access to the Rhode Island Round Dance Flash Mob Facebook event page.