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Hundreds attend flash-mob at Red Deer mall

Hundreds of people circled the Parkland Mall food court in an Idle No More demonstration Saturday.

Aboriginals of all ages, some toting signs and flags, staged a hand-holding round dance encouraged by Cree singers playing a ceremonial drum.

Mall security and management did not intervene in the 15-minute event, which started just before 3 p.m.

At its peak, about 200 people participated in the boisterous yet peaceful demonstration.

The dancers were joined by many mall patrons.

Some shoppers took little notice and hustled past, others shot photos and video with cell phone cameras and a few were clearly annoyed by the noise and activity.

The flash-mob event was organized through social media by Bonnie Badger of the Red Deer Native Friendship Centre.

“It was a great success. I’m so proud of how many people showed up.

“We showed that we’re supporting the chiefs and each other. We’re doing this for the land and water and not just out treaty rights. It’s about the economy and the land as well.”

Idle No More is a national aboriginal movement protesting provisions of federal omnibus bill C-45, which supporters say strip indigeneous peoples’ sovereignty over treaty lands.

This is the second local protest, the first held on Dec. 19th. Another may occur on Jan. 28th when national organizers are calling for an Idle No More World Day of Action.

rfiedler@reddeeradvocate

 
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