Since the Idle No More started up a few months ago, social media has helped galvanize the movement into an international phenomenon.
Social media has also brought together those unsupportive of the movement, spreading negativity online with sometimes-racist undertones.
During a round dance at the Gateway Mall on Friday, local Idle No More supporter Emil Bell cautioned people to not take negative social media backlash to heart.
“How many of you people are involved in … the Internet?” he asked a large crowd of supporters on Friday, who responded with almost all the hands going up.
The same response came to questions around reading negative comments and sharing these comments with family and friends.
“Delete that message!” he said of negativity spreading across the Internet. “Delete that message!”
Despite some negativity popping up, Friday’s crowd was enthusiastic, sharing the same messages they have since they started up, with some notable signs reading:
“If Justin Bieber was a “treaty” Indian (Stephen) Asshole Harper wouldn’t be pulling this shit!!”
“Harper needs a (bannock) smack!”
“(Rescind) C-45/ No nuclear dump/ no mining = no bombs/ water (connecting) all nations”
With the movement showing no signs of dying off, local supporter Jess Gordon spurred Friday’s crowd on with positive reinforcement.
“We are no longer idle,” she said. “We are not just sitting, and right now, we are standing up and we will continue standing up.”