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Monday, 14 January 2013 00:00

Idle No More activists shut down border crossing

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On Saturday January 12, a day after the Assembly of First Nations met with the Prime Minister, Canadians organized more rally's and blockades across the country. 

Here in Denendeh, a group of Idle No More activists shut down the NWT/Alberta border crossing on Highway 1.

Doug Lamalice was one of the 50 peaceful protesters that gathered near Hay River.  He says educating the people is vital and so these demonstrations will continue across the NWT. 

“Our elders, our ancestors, took care of this land and took care of everything on top of it and worked with it harmoniously so we could use it today. Now, us in turn should be doing the same thing so that our future generations can use it.”


Back in November, the Idle No More movement and Chief Theresa Spence asked for a nation-to-nation meeting with the Prime Minister and the Governor General.  When they didn’t get that, the group of 500 chiefs said they would stand in solidarity and boycott the proposed meeting.


At the last minute on Friday afternoon, AFN Chief Shawn Atleo and a delegation of 20 chiefs went in to meet Stephen Harper. 


National spokesperson for Idle No More, Pam Palmater said this morning on CTV that nothing came from the meeting.


“For some First Nations, they might be very happy that meeting took place. For a large number of other First Nations and grassroots people, they’re clearly not happy because nothing came of it.  So I think what you’re going to see is an actual ramping-up of activities to show that nothing has changed, nothing came out of this meeting for the people, and it’s the people who brought this movement forward.”

Some prominent Canadians are also showing solidarity.  Writer and activist Naomi Klein, singer Sarah Slean and Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians, said on Friday they would be rejecting their Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals and giving them back to Governor General David Johnston. 


Organizers with the national grassroots movement are calling for an Idle No More World Day of Action on Jan. 28, the day Canadian MPs return to the House of Commons.

Iman Kassam / CKLB News

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Iman Kassam

Native Communications Society of the Northwest Territories / CKLB Radio 101.9FM The Voice of Denendeh

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