"Idle No More" evening news story Part I
The “Idle No More” movement for Indigenous rights, sovereignty and environmental justice that has swept across Canada over the past month is taking root in Oregon and Washington as well.
Well over a hundred people participated in a flashmob at Portland’s Pioneer Place Mall on Sunday, with many of them beating on traditional hand drums. Over a thousand were on hand for a similar event in Seattle on December 22.
The “Idle No More” movement began in November as a teach-in in Saskatoon in response to the introduction of the C-45 Omnibus “Jobs and Growth” Bill in Canada.
This 400-page bill, passed by the Canadian Senate on December 14, makes significant and sometimes far-reaching changes to a number of laws dealing with First Nations or indigenous peoples, environmental protection, labor, fisheries and waterways.
And there are over half a dozen other proposed laws that would affect First Nations people, lands and water.
Changes to the Indian Act, for example, lower the threshold of community consent in the process for taking lands out of Indian Reserve status.
This raises the very real possibility that the Federal Government will put pressure on First Nations bands and tribes to surrender lands containing minerals and other resources.
The response by First Nations people has been swift and dramatic. Over a hundred events have occurred across Canada, including rallies, flashmob round dances, teach-ins, and blockades of roads and railways. More are happening every day.
On December 11, Attawapiskat traditional chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike to demand a meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and a representative from the Queen of England to address the broken relationship with indigenous peoples and treaty rights.
Her hunger strike helped spark many of the flash mobs and other rallies. And the Idle No More movement has also spread to the United States.
Over 30 events have happened across the country, including Sunday’s flash mob round dance in Portland.
More events are planned in the coming days and weeks. They can be found at “Idle No More’s” website and Facebook page.
KBOO’s Paul roland interviewed Chelsea Vowel, a metis [metee] activist and teacher who lives in montreal this afternoon about chief spence’s hunger strike.
That was KBOO’s Paul Roland, speaking with Chelsea Vowel, an indigenous blogger and activist in Montreal who is active with the Idle No More movement.
Tune in tomorrow to the KBOO evening news for part two of his report.
- Length: 2:44 minutes (2.5 MB)
- Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)