Idle No More has confronted these policies, and Harper supporters such as ex-Minister of Aboriginal Affairs John Duncan, suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau, resigned minister Peter Penashue, and Tom Flanagan have been called into question by grassroots people.
Idle No More will help rebuild the nation-to-nation relationship that is the foundation of this country. This means deepening democracy, respecting Indigenous sovereignty and protecting the land and waters from further resource extraction without the affected Indigenous Peoples’ free, prior, and informed consent.
We know it will take a lot more to defeat Harper and the corporate agenda. But against the power of their money and weapons, we have the power of our bodies and spirits. There is nothing that can match the power of peaceful, collective action in the defense of people and Mother Earth.
Idle No More and Defenders of the Land, a network of Indigenous communities in land struggle, have joined together to issue this common call for escalating action. Our demands are clear and in accordance with the principles of coexistence and mutual respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. We demand that Canada, the provinces and the territories:
- Repeal provisions of Bill C-45 (including changes to the Indian Act and Navigable Waters Act, which infringe on environmental protections, Aboriginal and Treaty rights) and abandon all pending legislation which does the same.
- Deepen democracy in Canada through practices such as proportional representation and consultation on all legislation concerning collective rights and environmental protections,and include legislation which restricts corporate interests.
- In accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ principle of free, prior, and informed consent, respect the right of Indigenous peoples to say no to development on their territory.
- Cease its policy of extinguishment of Aboriginal Title and recognize and affirm Aboriginal Title and Rights, as set out in section 35 of Canada’s constitution, and recommended by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
- Honour the spirit and intent of the historic Treaties. Officially repudiate the racist Doctrine of Discovery and the Doctrine of Terra Nullius, and abandon their use to justify the seizure of Indigenous Nations lands and wealth.
- Actively resist violence against women and hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and involve Indigenous women in the design, decision-making, process and implementation of this inquiry, as a step toward initiating a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan.
CALLS TO ACTION:
- March 21st International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- We are calling for decentralized actions across the country.
- April 22 Earth Day
- Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous rights are in many cases the best defence against environmental destruction by unchecked greed and industrial development. This Earth Day we are calling for nationwide autonomous local protests -- and a mass non-violent direct action in Ottawa to be announced soon -highlighting the importance of Indigenous rights in combating the Harper and corporate agenda. We are asking people to prominently include messaging on Indigenous and Treaty rights in their actions.
- Sovereignty Summer
- Indigenous communities have the right to determine the development on their traditional and treaty territories. In defending their right to say "No" to unwanted development, First Nations like Barriere Lake, KI, Grassy Narrows and many others are advancing alternatives that help us re-imagine our relationship to the environment. Across the country, people are increasingly supporting First Nations who are trying to protect lands, waters and air for everyone, and to win recognition of marine protections, of sustainable forestry, of local, just economies, and of the principle that we must respect the environment that we are a part of.
We are calling on non-Indigenous people to join Indigenous communities in coordinated non-violent direct actions in the summer. Alternatives will only come to life if we escalate our actions, taking bold non-violent direct action that challenges the illegitimate power of corporations who dictate government policy.
IDLE NO MORE FOUNDERS, LEAD ORGANIZERS, PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL CHAPTERS, AND WORKING GROUPS
DEFENDERS OF THE LAND
KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB INNINUWUG FIRST NATION
ALGONQUINS OF BARRIERE LAKE
ARDOCH ALGONQUIN FIRST NATION
JUDY DA SILVA - GRASSY NARROWS WOMEN’S DRUM
CHIEF CANDICE PAUL - ST MARY’S FIRST NATION*
DINI ZE TOGHESTIY - HEREDITARY CHIEF, LIKHTS’AMISYU CLAN, WET’SUWET’EN
MEL BAZIL - LHE LIN LIYIN CO-FOUNDER, GRASSROOTS WET'SUWET’EN
REBEKA TABOBONDUNG, PUBLISHER - MUSKRAT MAGAZINE
AUDREY HUNTLEY - NO MORE SILENCE
MELINA LABOUCAN-MASSIMO - LUBICON CREE FIRST NATION*
CAROL MARTIN - DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE WOMEN’S CENTRE*
RUSSELL DIABO - MOHAWK NATION (KAHNAWAKE)*
ARTHUR MANUEL - SECWEPEMC NATION, INDIGENOUS NETWORK ON ECONOMIES AND TRADE
CLAYTON THOMAS-MUELLER - PUKATAWAGAN CREE NATION*, INDIGENOUS TAR SANDS CAMPAIGN
Jeannette Pilot, an Innu woman from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam
Hunger Strike since January 1, 2013
With regard to the recent conduct of both the Harper government and Premier Pauline Marois, namely of taking decisions unilaterally, without the consent of First Nations. I, Jeannette Pilot, an Innu woman from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam , have been on a hunger strike since January 1, 2013, which means seventy-two days in total. On March 11, I will stop hydrating myself—a complet...e fast. I am ready to go to the end so that the rights of the First Nations are recognized, and to fight alongside the IDLE NO MORE movement for the people and the future generations. I demand that Harper's Conservative government stop its modification of certain laws and its imposition of others without first consulting the people who will be affected by them. Here is the list of the laws I am opposed to:
- Navigation Protection Act
- Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
- First Nations Financial Transparency Act
- Bill C-45 on employment and growth (2012)
- Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
- First Nations Elections Act
- Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act
- Act to amend the Indian Act and to provide for its replacement
- An Act to amend the Interpretation Act (non-derogation of aboriginal and treaty rights)
- First Nations Self-Government Recognition Act
Idle No More Support the Declaration made by the Mi’kmaq Grassroots People
The founders and organizers of Idle No More support the declaration made by the Mi’kmaq grass roots people in their resistance to the impending framework agreements under the premises of economic opportunities.
“Drastic measures have been implemented with the declaration of a fast by a citizens assembly in the Mi'kmaq community comprised of members from each of the n...eighboring provinces. The lead fasters, who will consume only water throughout the duration, will be Idle No More organizer Shelley Young, a member of Eskasoni First Nation and Jean Sock, a member of the New Brunswick reservation Elsipogtog” (Mi’kmaq Press Release)
The negotiation tables implemented through the Harper government are contrary to the Treaties, Indigenous sovereignty, and are a threat to the environment. The inherent rights of Indigenous peoples are the last line of defense for the collective rights of all Canadians. The drastic choices people are making to resist these policies are reflective of the times that are upon us. The Harper government policies reveal that the people no longer come first. We need to focus on protecting Indigenous sovereignty and our environment. Leadership need to know that when they stand with the grassroots people, we will fully support them. This can be the beginning of what we seem to have lost. Now is the time. We want to thank the leadership who have decided not to support Harpers policies and are working on building alternatives.
Press Release March 1/2013
Mi'kmaq people say “No!” to Framework Agreements that lead to Treaty termination Communities fear negotiating with Canadian Government after the passing of Bill
MILLBROOK NS- Members of the Mi’kmaq Nation, are opposed to the impending framework agreements under the premises of economic opportunity, the Made in Nova Scotia Process, and the Made in New Brunswick Process.
“The framework agreements promise economic opportunity for a select group of Mi'kmaq people at the price of all Mi'kmaq peoples inherent treaties ”, said Marina Young, "Our people are already living under a paternalistic government within the Indian Act itself where Chiefs tell the people how their community will be run. We have a voice and we say "NO!" to the Made in Nova Scotia Process and the Made in New Brunswick Process.
Drastic measures have been implemented with the declaration of a fast by a citizens assembly in the Mi'kmaq community comprised of members from each of the neighboring provinces. The lead fasters, who will consume only water throughout the duration, will be Idle No More organizer Shelley Young, a member of Eskasoni First Nation and Jean Sock, a member of the New Brunswick reservation Elsipogtog.
Jean and Shelley represent the communities who feel they have not yet been consulted about this process, and feel that their current leadership should not be dealing with a federal government who has openly disregarded First Nation's treaties with the passing of Bill C-45, which they say is a direct assault on Aboriginal communities and land designated for sale by Mi'kmaq leadership along with the Harper government to major oil and mining companies. The Fast will commence at midnight, Thursday, on the Millbrook reservation and will continue until a majority opts out of the process or is willing to halt the process until the Harper government is no longer in office.
“Our treaties are our identity, we are raised in our communities to understand the importance of our right to a sustainable living, and we understand that these were friendship treaties made to benefit all, but here we are. The Canadian government has benefited the most of all“, says Bryson Syliboy of Indianbrook, "Bill C-45 and the Made in Nova Scotia process are very closely mirrored, one of 'Jobs and Growth' and the other 'Economic Opportunity."
"We've been protesting against the Harper Government since December for their lack of consultation with our leaders for C-45 and other impending bills, yet our own leaders fail to consult with us on negotiations that regard our rights, impact our lands and extinguish our treaties. Information sessions done in select few communities where a handful of people show is not deemed proper consultation. Band members should have complete understanding of these comprehensive claims policies and be in full support of them if they are to continue. These processes will ultimately be detrimental to our lands; Mi'kmaq people will have different rights in different provinces, our original treaties will be extinguished (labeled "certainty" in the federal policy), and will affect our children and future generations to come." says Shelley Young of Eskasoni.
The group is also asking for support from allies who are concerned about how these bills will affect them. The threat of modernizing treaties and negotiating with a government that clearly disrespects these contracts is crucial to the people of Canada. "It has been stated that the Native people are Canada's last hope in protecting our lands and our waterways for all of us to enjoy.
Idle No More "Nation First" will be holding a Press Conference on Friday, March 1 at 10:00am at the Porcupine Lodge in Millbrook. All persons concerned with the damages these modernized treaties will have on Canada’s lakes and water ways, Canada’s Human Rights and Aboriginal Treaty Right’s is urged to attend.
For More Information, please contact:
Report from Human Rights Watch
Please read this important Report from Human Rights Watch:
SENATE READING OF BILL C-27
SENATE READING OF BILL C-27 TODAY (Financial Transparency and Accountability Act) This bill undermines Treaty, the Treaty relationship and Indigenous sovereignty.
- This bill imposes standards on First Nations governments that far exceed those for municipal, provincial and federal officials in other jurisdictions.
- It requires First Nation owned businesses (unlike non Aboriginal busine...sses) to publicly report income and expenses, thus undermining competitiveness.
- It adds additional bureaucracy to the existing requirement that each First Nation provide Ottawa over 150 financial reports each year, contrary to the recommendations of Canada’s Auditor General and the Treasury Board.
- These changes are based on a common, racist assumption that First Nations’ officials are all corrupt – an assumption that is factually and statistically incorrect.
*PLEASE TWEET AND EMAIL SENATORS TO STOP THIS BILL*.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AMENDED: February 11, 2013 at 5:05 PM MST
IDLE NO MORE DECLARES THE TREATIES AND INHERENT RIGHTS BREACHED AND/OR INFRINGED
We call on the AFN National Chief, Shaun Atleo to denounce the actions of the Conservative Government and the Department of Indians Affairs, now known as Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). In light of the following disturbing circumstances, we also respectfully ask National Chief Shawn Atleo to decline the acceptance of his impending Indspire Award for Education which he is scheduled to accept on Friday February 15, 2013 in Saskatoon.
February 8th, 2013 (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan): A meeting was scheduled by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (“AANDC”) at the TCU Center in Saskatoon for ‘consultations’ on Education. These 'consultations' stem from a joint Canada-Assembly of First Nations Action Plan on Education. The development for federal legislation on First Nations Education originates in a report entitled "National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education” supported by the AFN. During the meeting, no one from the AFN objected to this process despite much opposition from the grassroots people. This meeting is one of several ‘consultations’ that will take place across the country for the development of proposed federal legislation on education.
The creation of a First Nations Education Act will directly impact the Treaty term and promise to education as understood during the time of Treaty making, made by our Forefathers. The consultation process that was utilized is contrary to its own statement of “open and meaningful dialogue” and further, it contradicts the jurisprudence on the Duty to Consult.
The morning meeting was open to the public and was closed in the afternoon, which left many people confused. No reason for closed doors were given beyond, “it was a closed meeting for the afternoon”. Many grassroots people felt excluded from a process that directly impacts them, their children and future generations.
Grassroots people who wanted to attend the afternoon session were met with hostility and were refused entry at the door, as they were pushed and shoved by security guards refusing to allow them into the meeting.
Idle No More declares the process illegal and contrary to the international standard of free and prior consent as set forth, which Canada is a signatory, in the "United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP)".
Furthermore, Idle No More declares the Treaties and Inherent Rights breached and/or infringed by the British Crown's successor state, Canada as their was intentional physical exclusion of the grassroots people who are directly and detrimentally impacted by this proposed "consultation process".
Dion Tootoosis (306) 221-9844
Sylvia McAdam (306) 281-8158