Posted: Jan 11, 2013 6:45 PM by Dan Cimmino
Updated: Jan 11, 2013 6:47 PM
MISSOULA - A protest in downtown Missoula stopped traffic before transitioning into a round dance underneath the Higgins Bridge at Caras Park on Friday afternoon.
Several dozen people, including many Montana tribal members, marched down Higgins Avenue and banged drums as part of the grassroots movement called "Idle No More," which was organized to protest a Canadian bill that some people believe violates treaty laws and is harmful to Canadian lakes and streams.
The movement was sparked when Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike after the Canadian government passed Omnibus Bill C 45 in December.
CTV reports that Spence has been on the hunger strike on Victoria Island since December 11, subsisting mainly on fish broth while demanding a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, herself and other First Nations leaders.
The movement is also gaining ground through the #IdleNoMore hashtag on Twitter. The growth of the movement into America is aimed at showing unity with the First Nations and other non-Aboriginal supporters and send a message to the U.S. Congress to respect tribal rights.
"We stand in solidarity with them. We also stand up to our government just to let them know that what the Canadian government is trying to do, we won't stand for it down here either," said Craig Pablo, a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes and Idle No More protester.