Sunday, February 24, 2013

Idle No More: Round Dance Revolution

The Idle No More movement for indigenous rights started out in Canada last year, and has been marked by protests across the country and similar actions elsewhere, including in the United States. One of the tactics used has been the staging of flashmob round dances in shopping malls and other public spaces.

Last week the movement reached Salt Lake City in Utah, with 75 people staging a dance in the Capitol rotunda in protest against official approval for tar-sands minining in the state (pictued below).

Source: City Weekly, 21 February 2013
One of the biggest actions took place on January 13 2013 at West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America. According to Indian Country, 'a good 3,000 people showed up for an Idle No More flash mob at the West Edmonton Mall, staging a full-scale Grand Entry, the ceremonial procession that opens pow wow gatherings. Led by an eagle staff, equivalent to a national flag for many First Nations, the giant procession included rows of dancers three people wide, many in full traditional regalia and clothes, wrapped all the way around the mall's ice skating rink. These were followed by hoop dancers and accompanied by pow wow drumming'. In another action in December 2012 people drummed and danced in the Southgate Mall in Missoula, Montana. Supporters have talked of the movement as a Round Dance Revoltion.

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