Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
LANSING, MICHIGAN American Indians from throughout Michigan will be at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing today for an "Idle No More" peace movement round dance flash mob prior to the State of the State address by Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder.
Recent Idle No More Flash Mob at a Michigan Mall
Since December there have been hundreds of round dance flash mobs in Canada and the United States to show solidarity support for Idle No More, a peace movement that was created as the result of sweeping legislation by the Harper government in Canada that severely diminishes the treaty rights of First Nations peoples in Canada.
Michigan Indians, who are also known as the People of the Three Fires - the Ojibwe, Ottawa and Potawatomi - have had links with First Nations in Canada for centuries.
“As Indigenous people, we do not see the borders to our north or to the south. During times that conflict occurs for our First Nation relations in the protection of the sovereignty and treaty rights, we need to stand together; both strong and unified,”
commented Belinda Bardwell, a tribal councilor, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and one of today's event organizers.
The event is scheduled for today at 4:30 pm on the steps of the State Capitol in downtown Lansing, Michigan.
Several tribal chairmen are expected to be on hand to participate in the event.
“Some people may ask why we are doing this before the State of the State address. We are doing it to show our solidarity with our First Nations relatives in Canada,”
said Derek Bailey, who is a former tribal chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and another organizer of today's flash mob.
“We see governors of this state come and go. We will still be fighting for Indian rights long after this governor is gone. So, it really is not to be disruptive to Governor Snyder or to show disrespect. It is a great forum to have people of this state to understand Native issues and concerns.”
Idle No More Round Dance Flash Mob
Wednesday, January 16
Michigan State Capitol Building
Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
posted January 16, 2013 6:30 am est