I know intimately the importance of standing in one's territory, freely practicing our ceremonies at our sacred places, harvesting our foods, and telling our children their stories of creation in the exact spot creation happened and is happening. I know that living as Anishinaabe is one of the most important things we can do, on reserve, off reserve, in the middle of the bush or in the middle of the city. So I know that the reclamation of PKOLS is an extraordinarily important act for the SȾÁUTW, Songhees and the WSÁNEĆ because it physically connects them to a powerful place, alive with story, and breathing with history.
From the get go, commentators have cautioned that Indigenous peoples would be wise to play their cards right lest they squander what little patience and benevolence the Canadian public has left for Indigenous issues. Those who hold this view seem curiously unaware of how movements such as Idle No More work. Like the Civil Rights movement, these are not public relations battles; they are Constitutional struggles. And so we can expect general bewilderment and frustration from the public as Idle No More pushes through in 2013.
These Idle No More drums are not just for us: they beat for you because the legislation we are protesting does not just harm us -- it hurts you and your children and your grandchildren. I cannot tell you what path to follow. I cannot tell you to join our protest. But I can tell you the story of what we know of these legislative changes and how they will forever change our relationship with the land and water. The circle of those dances is not complete until you join us. I know that it is up to you to know your own journey. I know, however, that many of you have hearts open to hear this call.
A nationwide CBC News/Nanos online survey suggests British Columbians are divided in the their view of the Idle No More movement
#Ottawapiskat has been trending on Twitter with a fervour few other hashtags have generated. Aaron Paquette, a First Nations artist from Edmonton, says he started the hashtag to raise questions about the double standards that First Nations people often face in the media.
Artists have become a vibrant part of Idle No More, illustrating the movement in bold colours as it sweeps across Canada
To suggest Harper has consulted with First Nations leaders because of the meeting on Friday is simply ridiculous. First Nations know the realities of what they are facing and the Conservatives' dishonest talking points, aimed at convincing average Canadians they are making progress, are further undermining what little credibility they have with Canada's indigenous population.
Today's "National Day of Action" gives Chief Theresa Spence another opportunity to declare a victory over holding the government to account and another opportunity to call off her "hunger" strike. By not doing so she risks further polarizing and dividing the movement and First Nations leadership. The government is left with few options. It must still negotiate with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and National Chief Shawn Atleo, as it has to be seen to be engaged and working to make change possible, sooner rather than later.
The #IdleNoMore Movement is not a new movement. Instead, it is the latest incarnation of the sustained Indigenous resistance to the rape, pillage and exploitation of this continent and its women that has existed since 1492. For those transfixed on race, you're missing the point. Please consider this a fairly exhaustive explanation of the #IdleNoMore movement, what it is not and what it is.
The latest protest action by Alberta First Nations saw the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation temporarily blockade Hwy. 43 Friday