It started with the beat of a drum. A handful of people started dancing and singing, then more joined in, and in just a few minutes, the commons level of Destiny USA was filled with hundreds of people, hand in hand, in a traditional Native American Round Dance.
Viewed by several at Destiny USA, both on the commons level and in the balconies above, the Native American Round Dance flash mob was a part of the international Idle No More movement, which supports the rights of Indigenous people.
On Saturday, Onondaga Nation members and other First Nation members performed the flash mob as a peaceful protest, to try and promote solidarity concerning a recent bill (C45) passed by the Canadian Parliament that they say rescinds environmental protections across Canada, which includes the land base of First Nations.
"There used to be thousands and thousands of protected waterways, creeks rivers, ponds, lakes," Jan Cuipylo, who participated in the flash mob, says. "Thousands of them, and in one day the Canadian government slashed it and there's only like 100 now that are protected."
Chief Theresa Spence, of the Attawapiskat First Nation, is currently engaged in a hunger strike until the Canadian Prime Minister meets with her and other Indigenous leaders, which was another reason people all over the world held peaceful solidarity round dances in public areas.
So, back at Destiny USA their smiles grew as the circle grew bigger on Saturday, as people who were not sure what was even going on joined in. The organizers say that while they were trying to spread awareness about the Canadian Parliament's new bill, they were also trying to help Indigenous people's rights everywhere in the world.
"This is the beginning...," Cuipylo says. "The final shove to really help Mother Earth."