Aboriginal children are the face of a homegrown, attempted genocide. And tehy are still starving -- many living in poverty without the basic necessities of life, because land and resources continue to be stolen from their territories, with just as many starving for meaning, their culture, their language and their land. The children of those that survived the nutritional experiments, torture, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, and the assimilative and genocidal policies of Canada still live with the consequences and the trauma. Every day. There are more Native children in the child welfare system than were in the residential school system at its height because of the cycles of violence and trauma they inflicted on our families.
In recent memory, I can think of only three serious, rock-'em-sock-'em demonstrations in Canada. It's not as though Canadians are lacking for things to protest about. It's just that our national preference (outside Quebec, at least) is to avoid conflict whenever possible. And, I suppose, we've probably become too comfortable, perhaps even lazy, about tackling issues that don't have direct or immediate implications for us.
As a middle-class Canadian of European ancestry who has never spent much time on a reserve, I feel like it's not my place to speak for the #IdleNoMore movement. Allow me to clarify. I'm in solidarity with the movement -- even a staunch supporter of it, but only if the First Nations themselves are the ones leading the march.
Clarify what you are protesting for, or against. I've never seen such a passionate group of people go forward in protest in such disarray, and without clearly stating what it's all about. If it's generally about your need to be consulted, respected, justified for being mistreated, or the preservation of your culture, then let's be out with it and start a constructive discussion.
What is "Idle No More"? To me this conversation is more than just an "Indian Thing." It is one that Canadians of all backgrounds should pay attention to, if not participate in. The ideals that are underlying this action are ones to which we all aspire, even if we may disagree on how exactly to pursue them.