One Inity

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Idle No More: What do we want and where are we headed?

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Across the world, Indigenous and colonial peoples alike are heeding the call from Canada’s First Nations – to be Idle No More.

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But what is it exactly that they stand for?

In Canada, the Harper regime (which won a second term of ‘majority’ government with only 24% of the eligible vote amid serious and unresolved allegations of electoral fraud) has been busy compiling hundreds of pieces of legislation into Omnibus bills, ostensibly budget related, so as to sneak them past the electorate and the usual democratic processes of debate.

Within these illegitimate omnibus bills the Harper conservatives have hidden major revamps of environmental legislation that has, for example, reduced the number of protected Canadian streams, lakes and rivers from millions to just hundreds. Deep in the pocket of the oil and gas industry, Harper’s most egregious changes remove barriers and limitations on tar sands development.

It doesn’t stop there. Knowing that most economically profitable resources are buried beneath un-ceded Indigenous territory, Harper has ‘proceeded with an aggressive legislative agenda that will include upwards of 14 bills that will devastate our First Nations in various ways.’

The Indigenous response? Idle No More. Pamela Palmater explains:

‘First Nations represent Canadians last best hope at stopping Harper from unfettered mass destruction of our shared lands, waters, plants and animals in the name of resource development for export to foreign countries like China. Why? Because only First Nations have constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights which mandate Canada to obtain the consent of First Nations prior to acting. These rights are also protected at the international level with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.’

Read the entire article by Pamela Palmater here: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/pamela-palmater/2013/01/what-idle-no-more-movement-really

How and why can you get involved with Idle No More? http://thetyee.ca/Life/2013/01/19/Idle-No-More-List/

PS. One of the comments beneath this article is worth addressing briefly:

Submitted by tdot on January 9, 2013 – 12:51pm.

Dear Madam,
You ask the government “This means Canada must respect our sovereignty and get out of the business of managing our lives.” Does this also mean the government should stop giving your nation billions of dollars? If a specific reserve in your nation after being given hundreds of millions of dollars allows its people to live in abject poverty and asks for more money (despite not accounting for the millions it did receive), the government should just give your nation more money? Isn’t this the opposite of what you want?

In response, I would say that while Canadian governments are making billions in tax revenue by allowing and assisting Canadian and foreign companies to profit from the resources on Turtle Island, I think it is fair that the people of Turtle Island receive something in return.

– S

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Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 24, 2013 at 06:36

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