By: Rachel Aiello
Beats from a drum circle signaled noon hour as the latest flash mob demonstration in the growing Idle No More movement took place at Algonquin College, Jan. 17. As the rhythm grew, participants joined hands and a round dance formed around the main floor of the Robert C. Gillett Student Commons.
The demonstration was organized by students from the Mamidosewin Center, and was the first awareness-raising event of its kind to be held on campus. The purpose was to educate Algonquin College students about the movement which has been spreading worldwide.
Prior to the flash mob moving into the commons, there was an anxious buzz of anticipation around the Mamidosewin center as participants gathered.
During the demonstration, organizers handed out flyers, explaining why non-Indigenous Canadians should care.
“It is important for the rest of the college to know what we are doing, and why,” said Alex Beaudoin-Tenasco, a first year aboriginal studies student.
The event came together quickly, and included both Algonquin students and staff but was also open to the public, some of whom showed up holding “Idle No More” signs.
Eve Thompson, a game development student, saw posters around campus spreading the word. “It feels fantastic, this is my culture and I have to fight for my future,” she said.
The participants gathered back at the Mamidosewin center afterwards to catch their breath, and spoke of future demonstrations.
“It felt good, noticing other students get interested,” said one of the drummers, Frazer Whiteduck, a culinary skills student.
“Every time we do a round dance like this, it gives Idle No More a boost,” said Whiteduck.