A Mall of America Flash Mob for First Nations’ Rights
Organizers with the group Idle No More held a flash mob attended by hundreds of supporters on Dec. 29 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. The group formed in November 2012 in response to Canada’s Bill C45, a budget bill that will amend the country’s Indian Act and other laws, allowing the government to modify the voting and approval procedures for proposed land designations. Many members of Canadian First Nations fear that the law will strip them of their existing land rights.
The flash mob at the Mall of America is just one of many actions the group has held while the Canadian Parliament debated and eventually passed the bill.
According to the Idle No More’s website, marches, blockades, and other actions will continue until two goals are met: indigenous sovereignty and land and water security. “Once we reach these goals, we will continue to work to protect them,” the site explains. “In essence, Idle No More is here to stay.”
Opponents of C45 say that the bill will bring changes to land management that will make it easier for government to control reservation land and reduce protection of the country’s abundant lakes and rivers.
The flash mob at the Mall of America was also an action of support for Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence who has been on a hunger strike since Dec. 11. She has vowed to survive solely on fish broth and herbal tea until Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper agrees to meet with her and other indigenous community leaders.
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