Skip to main content

IDLENOMORE w bear claw

Monday's Idle No More protests by thousands of Indigenous people and their allies across Canada have their roots in resistance to tar sands development and the Harper government's blatant attempts to clear the way for large-scale exploitation of land, water, and people. As The Wandering Anthropologist put it earlier today:

With the massive exploitation of the tar sands taking off in Alberta, Canada has been transforming into a major oil producing nation, thereby also transforming relations between the First Nations, who live on top of the tar sands, and the federal government. Canada’s government, led by the Conservative Stephen Harper, is introducing a package of measures which includes changes to laws that will expedite access to tar sands, and transport of oil and gas through Canada. The laws will facilitate enormous expansion of the tar sands oil production and hugely impact on the lives of First Nations.

In this light, First nations protests throughout Canada, aiming to stop precisely that which lies at the heart of the Conservative governments’ policies, deserve more attention they have been receiving.

More below the billowing orange gas flare.

Idle No More began in response to the attacks on First Nation sovereignty, lands, and waters represented by Bill C-45, passed by the Canadian Parliament despite vocal opposition from First Nations and a last-minute attempt to be heard by Indigenous leaders who tried to enter the House of Commons but were pushed back by security.

As idlenomore.ca explains:  

“IDLE NO MORE”
(December 10, 2012)

Less than three weeks ago, 4 women from Saskatchewan (Indigenous and non Indigenous) decided that they could no longer stay silent in the face of what is a legislative attack on First Nation people and the lands and waters across the country. Together, Sylvia McAdam, Jess Gordon, Nina Wilson and Sheelah Mclean started organizing ‘teach-ins’ in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert to start bringing awareness to Bill C 45 Says McAdam,

“Bill C 45 is not just about a budget, it is a direct attack on First Nations lands and on the bodies of water we all share from across this country.”

The Bill brings forward changes specifically to the Indian Act that will lower the threshold of community consent in the designation and surrender process of Indian Reserve Lands.  McLean reminds that bill is about everyone.  She says “the changes they are making to the environmental legislation is stunning in terms of the protections it will take away from the bodies of water – rivers and lakes, across the country".  She further adds, “ how can we not all be concerned about that?”

Protect Rivers & Lakes

The Idle No More efforts picked up momentum in Alberta and soon spread across Canada. Thousands of people joined in the actions on Monday. Now, in the wake of those protests, support is pouring in for Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who has started a hunger strike to pressure Prime Minister Stephen Harper to respect the treaties and consult with Indigenous leaders.

In the light of the crescent moon the Sunrise Ceremony begins marking the start of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike Tuesday in Ottawa.

Spence is holding the hunger strike to force a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper or the Queen to have them respect treaty rights.

First Nation peoples across the country have expressed support for Spence, some deciding to fast for a day in solidarity. The Samson Cree Nation scheduled to hold an hour blockade of a highway in support Wednesday as well.

“I think that’s what keeps me going,” said Spence who is holding her hunger strike on Victoria Island that sits below Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court of Canada. “All the support and kind words and all the prayers I’m going to be doing, especially with this ceremony that happened this morning, it keeps me going.”

The Idle No More movement, organized and sustained almost totally through the Twitter hashtag #IdleNoMore and a Facebook page, shows enough signs of resolve and creativity to give the impression that a Native Spring -- perhaps even a permanent Indigenous Rights Revolution -- has begun.

703766_10151350101651063_1896939392_o

From idlenomore.ca:

Idle No More has come to symbolize and be the platform to voice the refusal of First Nations people to be ignored any further by any other Canadian government.

The National Day of Action for Idle No More will mark the point in history when the generations and centuries of the refusal to acknowledge the relationship stops.

There's lots of potential for the Idle No More activists to form international coalitions with Indigenous people in the U.S., non-Indigenous allies, climate change activists, and others. Check out the action on Twitter and Facebook, read âpihtawikosisân's posts here and here, and see Nora Loreto's blog on the Non-Indigenous responsibility to act.

.

Originally posted to Fresno on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:37 PM PST.

Also republished by EcoJustice, Canadian Kossacks, and Native American Netroots.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site