REPORTING · 12th January 2013
The Haisla First Nations held a second Idle No More Rally in Kitimat on Friday, January 11th. Over 100 people showed up to show their support for the movement, forming a circle in the parking lot outside of Shoppers Drug Mart.
“We are the united voice, the world is listening to. There are no paid positions, no elected officials. We are the grass roots people. We are all leaders in this movement and united, our voice is being heard worldwide. Idle no more,” said Gail Amos. “The time is now to stand.”
Gerald Amos said few words. He talked about a presentation he gave in Smithers about the Cumulative Impact of Development on Mother Earth and on the First Nation’s Ability to sustain their culture.
“It’s not the outrage of the environmental organizations that drive investments. It’s security or un-development in British Columbia, but section 35 of Canada’s Constitution and we understand what it means. How much time does government and industry spend, how many thousands of man hours, and millions of dollars trying to get around that single, inescapable fact of life, it is an irrational, wasteful and ludicrous way to treat with each other,” said Gerald Amos.
“Right now, our Provincial and Federal Government believe that the only rational choice, is to extract and export its raw natural resources as fast as possible to generate as much profit for industry and some tax revenue as fast as they can.”
He expressed to do this; they bring in foreign workers from foreign industries and deal with foreign governments. There are consequences to doing this which do not only affect First Nations but to democracy which is fundamental to Canadians.
“One would think, one would hope, that when faced with an abundance of mineral and energy riches, that we would be totally rational and calm and try to have a conversation together as Canadians about what’s important to all of us and try to figure out a way forward that reduces and resolves conflict, honours our obligations to future generations and pays at least lip service to sustainability,” said Gerald Amos.
He stated the bills which are going forward are stripping protection from both the waterways and the resources within the waterways.
The next speaker gave a reminder of the way the government took away the culture of the First Nations through the residential schools.
Tammy Lawson got stepped forward to speak from the heart. “What’s been going on to our people, to my people, it’s been wrong. It’s been wrong for a long time,” said Lawson. “I’m here today to say, I’m standing up for my people and here I am government and what you’re doing is wrong.”
The children bearing banners in the lead, those gathered marched from the parking lot to the traffic lights at the corner of Haisla and Lahakas and back to the parking lot where they gathered once more to finish off the movement.