UPDATE as of 4:20 p.m. Officers were called to help remove the group, which they estimated to be between 80 and 100 people, Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
“They were asked to leave the mall by security, and they didn’t want to leave, so police asked them to leave, and they did,” she said.
The protest was peaceful, she said.
Participants are not allowed back into the mall for one day.
“Whenever we trespass someone, it’s for a minimum of 24 hours,” she said.
Some officers remained at the mall in case the group came back, she said, adding that it did not.
INITIAL POST: A group of several dozen Native Americans occupied the Tacoma Mall food court this afternoon as part of a series of actions protesting proposed legislation in Canada that they believe would erode aboriginal treaty rights in that country.
Protesters played drums and chanted and sang for nearly half an hour before being asked to leave. They then moved their protest outside, where they continued to chant and drum.
Some of the protesters carried signs that said, “Idle No More,” and “No on C-45.”
Similar protests have sprung up around the United States since Canadian tribes began to exclaim their dissatisfaction with proposals to amend the so-called Indian Act in their country.
No arrests were reported during the Tacoma protest.