Idle No More…
It’s Christmas Day and Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation is entering the 15th day of her hunger strike in protest to the Tory government passing Bill C-45. This bill supports the sale of reserve lands without full consultation of the collective First Nation people and has the potential to negatively affect Canada’s lakes and environment .
Chief Spence is currently living in a tepee on Victoria Island, within eyesight of Ottawa’s Peace Tower. The Chief, surviving on a meager liquid diet of fish broth, lemon water and prepared medicine, is determined to meet with Prime Minister Harper, Governor General David Johnston and other First Nation Leaders to discuss the impact of this legislation on First Nation people and all Canadians. Chief Spence has expressed many concerns for aboriginal people including; poverty, high suicide rates and Bill C-45’s potential to place decision-making in the hands of a few which is contrary to traditional ways of First Nation people. The Chief will continue to fast until she can meet with Harper to discuss these issues faced by First Nation people. Chief Spence’s act of protest has ignited a wave of solidarity from indigenous people and supporters across Canada creating a grass-roots movement called the idle no more Campaign.
Aamjiwnaang First Nation demonstrators blocked off CN rail train tracks in Sarnia Ontario and they have vowed to continue the blockade until Prime Minister Harper meets with Chief Spence. In Vancouver, thousands of First Nation protesters have participated in sit-in’s and flash-mobs (large groups of protesters converging in a mall and suddenly breaking into traditional song and dance). Aboriginal youth have conquered Social Media with thousands of Idle No More Facebook posts and Twitter tweets.
Although Parliament is closed for the holidays, you can show your support for the idle no more Campaign by sending an email message to your member of Parliament, Prime Minister Harper or Governor General David Johnston urging them to meet with Chief Spence. You can also show your support by educating yourself about Bill C-45 to understand what it is about and how it will potentially impact Canadians. You can show support by participating in protest rallies; sit-in’s and/or flash mobs that you encounter, these are friendly people trying to make our world a better place! Join picketers or protesters and… Tweet some encouragement to Chief Spence!
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