You are not connected. Please login or register


Idle No More: Indigenous Uprising Sweeps North America

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]


Idle No More: Indigenous Uprising Sweeps North America

Posted on January 10, 2013 by Jean

Published on Thursday, January 10, 2013 by YES! Magazine
Source: Common Dreams (via email)

Idle No More has organized the largest mass mobilizations of
indigenous people in recent history. What sparked it off and what’s
coming next?

by Kristin Moe

Idle No More: Indigenous Uprising Sweeps North America Idlenomorevancouver1-bycaelieframpton-555It
took weeks of protests, flash mobs, letters, rallies, and thousands of
righteous tweets, but Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper finally
caved. He agreed to a meeting with the woman who had been petitioning
him for twenty-four days, subsisting on fish broth, camped in a tepee in
the frozen midwinter, the hunger striker and Chief of the Attawapiskat
Theresa Spence.

The mobilization around Chief Spence’s hunger strike has
already grown to encompass broader ideas of colonialism and our
relationship to the land.
No, this is not normal parliamentary process. The hunger strike was a
final, desperate attempt to get the attention of a government whose
relationship with indigenous people has been ambivalent at best and
genocidal at worst, and force it to address their rising concerns. The
meeting, set for this Friday, January 11, is unlikely to result in any
major changes to Canada’s aboriginal policy. Yet the mobilization around
Chief Spence’s hunger strike has already grown to encompass broader
ideas of colonialism and our collective relationship to the land. The
movement has coalesced under one name, one resolution: Idle No More .

Closed-door negotiations spark a movement

The Idle No More movement arose as a response to what organizers call
the most recent assault on indigenous rights in Canada: Bill C-45,
which passed on December 14. Bill C-45 makes changes to the Indian Act,
removes environmental protections, and further erodes the treaties with
native peoples through which Canada was created.

Indigenous leaders accuse the Harper administration of “ramming through” legislation without debate or consultation.
On December 4, when representatives of First Nations came to the
House of Commons to share their concerns about the proposed bill, they
were blocked from entering .
A week later, after being repeatedly denied a meeting with Harper,
Chief Spence began her hunger strike. Since then, the movement has grown
to encompass a hundred years’ worth of grievances against the Canadian
government, which is required by Section 35 of the Constitution Act to
consult with native people before enacting laws that affect them.
Indigenous leaders accuse the Harper administration of “ramming through”
legislation without debate or consultation.

Even worse is the bill’s “weakening of environmental assessment and
the removal of lakes and rivers from protection,” says Eriel Deranger,
Communication Coordinator of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, which is
directly downstream from toxic tar sands mining. She knows firsthand the
importance of protecting waterways from industrial pollutants.
“Indigenous people’s rights,” she says, “are intrinsically linked to the
environment.” She adds that the removal of such protections paves the
way for resource extraction, bringing Canada closer to its self-stated
goal of becoming a global energy superpower. This isn’t just a native
thing, Deranger says; this is something that affects everyone.

And so begins the largest indigenous mass mobilization in recent
history. Native people and their allies from all over North America have
gathered to peacefully voice their support for indigenous rights:
they’ve organized rallies, teach-ins, and highway and train blockades,
as well as “flash mob” round dances at shopping malls.

With Twitter and Facebook as the major organizing tools, #idlenomore has emerged as the dominant meme in the indigenous rights movement. In addition to events across Canada, a U.S. media blitz tour has inspired solidarity actions all
over North America, as well as in Europe, New Zealand, and the Middle
East. Mainstream media and the Harper government are taking notice.

Idle No More: Indigenous Uprising Sweeps North America Fd1a1058-4819-475c-a9b8-a69875ed1e26Anger at environmental destruction in Canada boils over

But why now? The answer, says Deranger, is that people are ready.
Idle No More arose at a moment of growing awareness of environmental
justice issues, frustration with lack of governmental consultation, and
widespread opposition to resource extraction on indigenous land—like the
tar sands in Deranger’s home province of Alberta and the diamond mines
in Chief Spence’s Ontario. It comes after years of grassroots organizing
around indigenous rights—which are, in the end, basic human rights.

Visit almost any reserve in Canada, and you’re likely to see third
world social indicators in a first world country: high incarceration
rates, inadequate housing and sanitation, reduced life expectancy—due in
part to abnormally frequent suicides—lack of employment and education
opportunities, and substance abuse. This, after more than a century of
colonization by a government that refuses to acknowledge its identity as a colonial power. Meanwhile, native youth are the fastest-growing segment of Canada’s population, according to Aboriginal Affairs . Is it any surprise that they’re taking on repressive legislation and using social media to organize?

For Canadians—and potentially all North Americans—this is a moment of
reckoning. Just as Chief Spence’s hunger strike forced the issue with
Harper, Idle No More forces us all to confront the ugliness of our
collective colonial history, and to recognize that colonization
continues today.

It holds up a mirror to our society, questioning the historical
narrative we’re all taught to believe. It asks: On what values was our
country founded? And, because identity is created out of that narrative:
Who are we, really? And who do we want to be?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

Idle No More: Indigenous Uprising Sweeps North America Kristin-moe

Kristin Moe is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and activist who is
enrolled this fall at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in
Portland, Maine.

Related articles
Thanks to: http://jhaines6.wordpress.com


New Age Seer

New Age Seer
The Crux of the issue circulates around the Vast Oil Sands co-owned and managed by Canadian and Chinese Oil Corporations wanting to build vast pipelines in and around the Province of Alberta, through the North West Territories to James Bay, and Southward through the Province of Alberta into the United States - and Westward into British Columbia...

Prior to the 2011 Election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper Prorogued his Cabinet on the heels of an Environmental report of Alberta’s Lakes and Ground Water pollutants affecting more than 20 Communities in that Province. The Water Pollution, which is also affecting native wildlife in and around Northern Alberta and into the North West Territories and the Yukon are all largely linked to the Oil and Gas companies in Alberta… Petroleum, and its subsidiaries are currently Canada’s number one Exports – Selling in the figures of $210 B to the US and nearing $160 B to China and its markets.

To challenge that industry in Canada would essentially cripple our Economy – at the cost of our Environment. However, Prime Minister Harper is a Lobbyist for the Oil Industry of Canada – and by extension China.

The Harper Government, over the Christmas Holidays of 2012 passed a Law allowing non-Natives to purchase Land on Reserve Land – thus allowing the Oil Companies to purchase Land on Indian Reservations, and grant them rights to construct their Pipelines (Through Indian Lands.) It was a work around to ‘Legally’ allow companies to build their pipelines through Protected Lands without having to first negotiate new Treaties with First Nations Peoples.

In Canada, a Land Owner has the Land Rights to his/her Property through a Land Deed, however the Land Owner does not own, nor control the Mineral Rights of that Land. Therefore, if rare metals and/or Oil is found on one’s land, the Government – through a competition – will select a Mining/Gas company to ‘Move’ onto one’s land to mine/drill for the minerals/gas, without consideration to the original Land Owner’s Rights.

This was viewed as a clear breach of the Native Treaties signed with the British Crown in 1763. The Harper Government is the representative of the Canadian People, but does not represent the Crown (in this case, the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II.) The Governor General, R. H. David Johnson, is the official representative of the British Crown in Canada.

There have been many Violations against the First Nations People, prompting the current mood in Aboriginal Lands across Canada and the North.

Last edited by New Age Seer on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

New Age Seer

New Age Seer
Proroguing his Cabinet had the effect of silencing his Political Opponents on the Issue and silencing the issue in Parliament. When a motion is moved, by a Political Rival, it must be discussed in Parliament. If there is an issue, further review into the issue is required by the Crown.

The Prime Minister issues the concern to the Cabinet Minister responsible for the portfolio (IE: Mining/Forestry/Insdustry/Environment/Transportation/Health/Finance/Defence…) and a Review Board is established based on Industry Leaders and Public Servants – then the Ministry has to investigate – either by hiring Consultants or using Ministry Resources… All at a cost to the Ministry and to the Crown.

This has several effects – one is the actual findings, which have to be discussed in Parliament and the reports made available to the General Public (IE: the Electorate.) Another, is the Cost-Effect of the review – often, additional Consultation is required in order to understand the mitigating factors that have lead to the condition/complaint. This could cost as little as a few Hundred Thousand Dollars to upwards into the 10’s of Millions of Dollars – in a time when the Government is trying to balance its books, these additional spendings have to be reported to the electorate and become another Political Issue – because ‘The Government’ is unable to keep their Spending down.
If culpability can be identified, it would demand Fines levied upon the culprits, ultimately, Industry – who in return, to offset the penalties levied against them, either lay off Workers or pack up and move out, laying off all workers – ultimately affecting the Labor Force, increasing the payout the Government must make to all those eligible to receive Benefits (I. E.: Employment Insurance.) It also creates a Market Vacuum, as related job markets are affected... It also implicates the loss of Donation Monies to Political Parties, which could have the effect of essentially 'killing' the Party if it doesn't manage to raise enough funds to run an Election Campaign.

Shutting down Parliament allows the Government to sit on the problem and burry it under Bureaucratic Red Tape.


I was wondering what your perspective on this was NAS. Thanks

I was also hoping that HWG would give us his input on this happening.


New Age Seer

New Age Seer
Ultimately, it’s up to the Electorate… People are divided – and with such a negative view upon First Nations People, the general population isn’t concerned – mix in the fact that everyone is just trying to figure out how to survive (with the lack of Job Security, Increased Cost of Living, Crippled Wages, Skyrocketing Benefits costs, Debt…) They just don’t have the mental energy to dedicate to the subject matter…

We talk about Deficits – this all factors into one focal paradigm, which I’ve called, Deficit of Thought.

Walking into work this morning, I observed drivers on the road – I watch them every day – and every day I would said to myself, ‘What terrible Drivers.’ But today, it dawned on me, ‘What if we’ve ALWAYS been terrible Drivers? What if it was a fantasy? That there was once a time where people were conscientious and disciplined drivers… And I realized that, never in the history of Humanity have such a populace existed.
There are definitely exceptions to the rule, but in general – the mass population has always been consumed by poor driving skills.

The natural extension then expands into all facets of our lives – what else are we terrible at?

Then, it’s the ideal that is fallacious. We want to strive to be ‘something,’ but we will always fall short – because our Thoughts and Minds are divided.

The general population will mock and scorn the Native Population because they want to be recognized as being a Distinct Society – when we live in a world that is pushing for Sameness – the ‘One World’ Government. Why then should they be ‘Different?’

For the same reason why, if you talk to an American of African Descent and say ‘we are equal’ they will quickly correct you – though the ‘Black’ community only accounts for around 11% - 13% of the US Population, they come from a vastly different world than Caucasian Americans, in the way they’ve been treated and in the way they are treated by the general population… It is easy for one population to marginalize another when we don’t share the same suffering.

The crime then is to impugn and dismiss a culture on the basis of equality, when that equality – inherently – does not exist.

The Idle No More movement will have the same impact as the Occupy Wall Street movement. It will be a big issue for those it does impact and mocked by those it had the least impact on. Never were the issues addressed concerning the movement in the first place - Corporate Greed and Abuse, and the lack of Accountability. In the end, the Electorate re-elected the same people that were involved in the scandal and no demands were made to change the Basis of the System – because, at the end of the day, no one knows any better… And they aren’t willing to learn.

Last edited by New Age Seer on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:36 pm; edited 2 times in total

Herb Lady

Herb Lady
whoa is right! I had only read small amounts of info regarding this issue, but nothing as in depth as this! Thank you so much for your input on this New Age Seer! And many prayers to all Indigenous people of the world!

Take care of the land and the animals and they will take care of you!

Come visit my site at:  https://onlynaturesmagic.com/

New Age Seer

New Age Seer
To be clear, the Attawapiskat issue currently going on in Northern Ontario, and the Oil Sands and Oil Pipelines Issues (to my knowledge) aren't directly connected...

Allegations are abound implicating the Tribal Leaders of that community in Corruption and Political Fraud, where they are embezzling monies meant for Aboriginal Affairs (housing, health and education) and putting that money into their own bank accounts… What is likely happening here is a media misdirect to place blame on the Government – However, the money counts don’t add up on either end and it appears that there’s been a culture of deception entrenched on both sides…

So, my initial understanding of the ‘Idle No More’ movement involved Indian Affairs as concerning Indian Treaties signed with the Crown and new Legislations that were passed in 2012 that threatened those Treaties, and less to do with Chief Theresa Spence and the Natives of Attawapiskat (directly.)

Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum