Monica Whitepigeon in Native Challenges. Discussion »
CHICAGO Spirits were high and excitement was in the air on Saturday as over 300 Natives and non-Natives alike gathered in front of Daley Plaza in support of Chief Theresa Spence and Canada First Nations treaty rights.
American Indians from as far as Montana joined in the drum circle and marched from the plaza to the corner of Randolph and State, then to the Consulate General of Canada in the Windy City.
Protests Outside the Canadian Consulate in Downtown Chicago this Past Saturday
Two songs were performed at the first two locations and ended with a thirty minute demonstration outside of the consulate building. A police escort watched over the protesters to make sure traffic was not obstructed; however, they did not interfere.
“We were nervous with all the police around,”
says Julie King, Oneida.
“We need to make a scene in order to be heard.”
Drumming for Solidarity in the Windy City
As the Natives marched up Randolph Street, a lone voice could be heard shouting "Idle!" and the crowd responding "No More!" A few drummers continued to beat an earthy rhythm while others cried out in encouragement.
Towards the end of the demonstration outside of the Consulate General, a Canadian representative addressed the crowd with a prepared statement claiming the Canadian government is concerned with Native issues and wants to keep a respectful relationship with all the tribes.
Time will tell how well negotiations will go. It is apparent, however, that the United States tribes have come together and will continue to show support to our neighbors up north.
Another Idle No More rally was held in Oakland, California on Saturday, which drew a crowd estimated between 300 to 400.
posted January 7, 2013 7:40 am est