It’s been a pivotal week on the Canadian political front. First Nations has stood up and launched an attack against the government in the form of threats ranging from hunger strikes that will continue if they will not meet on treaty terms, to full out ‘we’ll bring down the economy’ messages alongside peaceful drum filled protests that are being staged from coast to coast.
Many may think this is just another native dispute, another inconvenience to the average Joe who needs the rail lines for his business. I, on the other hand, see this as the most important protest that has hit Canada, possibly ever. They are IDLE NO MORE.
The First Nations are fed up with Harper not honouring their treaty rights and discussing his sweeping changes with them before implementing them. In essence, his actions as Canada’s Prime Minister have been contrary to the signed agreements between our two nations. Since Harper has taken the lead in Canada he has gutted environmental law, reducing the number of protected properties and waterways from millions to around 80. He has held photo ops where he appears to be creating ‘protected land’ when in fact he has reduced the protected part to a fraction of what it was and called the rest a new ‘National Park’. To the untrained eye, it may appear all good – and Harper is a pro at appealing to those who care little about the facts. He counts on us being asleep.
Idle No More still has a lot of work to do, to organise and come together with a clear message. They are up against a slick and devious government that has even stirred up audit results in the face of the country’s growing outrage, in an effort to discredit First Nations in the only way they know how.
My wish for Idle No More is that they continue to grow momentum, both within their Canadian community and internationally. I hope they are loud enough to scare away potential investors, and have enough staying power to eliminate the conservatives in the next election.
In order for this happen, we must all become inspired by their love of the earth, their instincts for sustainable living, and their commitment to fair and collaborative governance.
When I saw the masses of First Nations assemble in front of the parliament buildings all I could think was THANK GOD. Thank God they are stirred up and ready for action. Thank God Harper finally has a strong opponent, Thank God for First Nations people, who know a little something about the evils of colonialism and who have the strength, finally, to fight back against it.
Power to the people.