Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
ALLENDALE, MICHIGAN Facing bristling frigid temperatures and gusty winds about three dozen American Indians round danced around the clock tower on Grand Valley State University's Allendale campus on Martin Luther King Day show their support of the Idle No More peace movement.
Raymond Shenosky Jr Braves the winter cold as he sings in support of Idle No More
The event was organized by the Grand Valley State University Native American Student Association. The entire event was to be held near the clock tower, but the majority of the event was moved inside to avoid the temperatures that were in the single digit with the wind chill and a snowstorm.
GVSU Native American Student Association lead round dance
“It was such a spectacular sight and feeling - all of us coming together for such an important cause. It was so powerful having so many people come out and support this movement, despite the scary road conditions,”
commented Nikole LeCompte, president of the Native American Indian Student Association.
Jonathan Rinehart, Ottawa, emceed the two-hour event that featured a pipe ceremony by elder and Korean War veteran George Martin, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe, who offered prayers for those involved with the Idle No More peace movement.
Patty Ives Rader, a tribal citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community, provided an overview of the dangers of fracking to the environment and discussed the need to preserve water. In her remarks, Rader tied the need to support Idle No More because the movement's strong ties to protecting the environment.
“Today, I think about Chief Spence. She is fasting for all of us. She is fasting for our children,”
said former Gun Lake Councilor Lorraine "Punkin Shananaquet" who also told the students
“it is time to sit idle no more.”
Shane McSauby, a tribal citizen of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and a junior at Grand Valley State University, said he was happy he could attend Monday's event because he was unable to attend the Idle No More round dance flash mob that was held last month in the city at a mall.
“The speakers here today were excellent. I think we have to stand up for treaty rights. A lot of people still donâ€™t what Idle No More is about.”
After the program inside, the group went to the campus' clock tower and sang three songs with the Canadian flag flying in the brisk winds.
posted January 22, 2013 7:40 am est