About two-dozen Native dancers and drummers performed at the Sealaska Plaza as nearly an equal amount of spectators watched on Friday afternoon.
Most of the dancers were in their regalia and a few held up signs that read: Idle No More.
Similar events are underway in Canada where First Nations people are protesting their treatment by the federal government. Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is now in the fourth week of a hunger strike in her effort to meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper over aboriginal equality and treaty rights.
Ishmael Hope of Juneau calls it a powerful and positive movement.
“It started with us being supportive of our inland relatives,” said Hope. “It’s been happening all over now, all over the world. We’re not going to sit back and take the injustices that come at us.”
Hope says this was the third event organized for Juneau and more are planned. He credited Harold Jacobs for organizing the recent events.
Idle No More was planned for the State Office Building atrium during the noon hour on Friday. But the event was moved to the Sealaska Plaza because it conflicted with the weekly performance of the Kimball pipe organ.
- Stuart DeWitt, Nick Davis and Joe Thompson were inducted into the Gold Medal Hall of Fame.
- On Saturday at the Juneau Lions Club 71st Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament, Lion Steve Brandner was chosen as the recipient of the Walter A. Soboleff Achievement Award, the tournament’s highest honor.
- Shutting down the oil platforms will allow Hilcorp to reduce the amount of natural gas flowing in the leaking pipeline.
- The co-chairmen of the House Finance Committee revised their plans to introduce an income tax to Alaska for the first time in nearly four decades.