POLITICS

Idle No More protests continue despite pending PM meeting

01/07/2013 10:44 EST | Updated 03/09/2013 05:12 EST
Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have extended an olive branch, but some say the promise of a meeting with First Nations leaders won't put an end to an Aboriginal movement called Idle No More.

For weeks people have been gathering across the country to express frustration over First Nations’ strained relationship with the federal government.

Serpent River Chief Isadore Day said the Idle No More movement is not going away — but may change shape now that Ottawa has shown signs of responding.

“I think, in terms of the type of action now, it's not going to be so much boots on the ground as it is people sitting at the table working through these things,” he said.

News the Prime Minister plans to sit down with Aboriginal leaders also diffused some of the tension around Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike, who said she will refuse food until she attends the meeting on Friday.

Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus said much will depend on what happens there.

“What is important here is that the prime minister has expressed his willingness to meet,” he said.

“So let's get that meeting and find out where we go from here.”

But it will take more than a meeting to quiet the Idle No More movement, Day said.

“I don't live with the illusion that the Idle No More movement is going to die down,” he said.

“I think it is going to continue to gain in momentum, but I think what is going to happen is that there is going to be a merging of likeminded principles and values about what the issues are.”