First Nations To Rally to Express OppositionTo The Harper Government’s Attacks on Aboriginal RightsIdle No More!
Under what is being called a National Day of Action and Solidarity, First Nations and their supporters have organized more than 13 nation-wide rallies for Monday (December 10) to express opposition the legislation the Harper Government has put forward in Bill C-45 and other bills.
The movement, under the banner “Idle No More” (#IdleNoMore) emerged within the grassroots less than four weeks ago in Saskatchewan. It began as an effort to educate First Nations people on the multitude of legislation being put forward by the Harper government that they feel is a direct attack on the rights of First Nations. The organizers Sylvia McAdam, Jess Gordon, Nina Wilson and Sheelah Mclean began by organizing “teach-ins” to inform people.
On Dec. 2, when another Idle No More session was called in Alberta, more than 150 people drove into Louis Bull First Nation on a Sunday to hear what the presenters had to say. The organizer for that event, Tanya Kappo, took to Twitter and Facebook to help generate awareness on the matter as the passage of Bill C45 was imminent. Says Kappo, “the people in our communities had absolutely no idea what we were facing, no idea what plans Stephen Harper had in store for us.”
Sylvia McAdam, one of the organizers of the original Saskatchewan events stated, “We are not really surprised by the amount of support coming spontaneously from the grassroots and from the Chiefs, because we knew we 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.”
McAdam said, “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.”
Opposition by First Nations to Bill C-45 garnered national attention last week during when 300 First Nations Chiefs marched on Parliament hill, and several Chiefs, led by Chief Fox, went inside Parliament to deliver a message to the government.
This refusal to allow First Nations leadership to respectfully enter the House of Commons triggered an even greater mobilization of First Nation people across the country.
Rallies will be held on Monday, December 10 in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Calgary, Edmonton, Stand Off, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Toronto and Goose Bay-Happy Valley.
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More information can be found at www.idlenomore.com
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