Monday, January 21, 2013

#IdleNoMore


Like a lot of people, I had no idea what this “Idle No More” thing was. What is a Facebook page? An online petition? I had no idea what the fuss was from Canada. Then I found out it was a First Nations movement.
I read this helpful article — among others.
It spawned in Canada with the First Nations peoples. Basically the same old story unfolded: big government looking to break treaties and promises with indigenous people to hog the natural resources — fresh water in this case. First Nations said “No, we will be Idle No More, and we will stand up for our rights to protect Mother Earth.”
Canada Bill C-45 (remember that, it’s going in the history books. Native American history books at least. And you’ll be required to learn about it if you choose to take a Native history class in college — because no one is required to learn about Native history…). Basically it’s a bill that will give the Canadian government the right to break treaties and protections for many fresh bodies of water and give more control to the government over Native land, which is a violation of their Indian Act. First Nations claim to have had no say in any of this while politicians are going forth without consent or any input from the First Nations people, which C-45 will affect. Chief Teresa Spence (remember that name too) of the Attawapiskat First Nation took the lead here and demanded the politicians, particularly Prime Minister Stephen Harper, meet with First Nations to discuss Canada’s relationship with First Nations’ leaders, which seems to be a pretty poor and unfair relationship, if Canada is thinking of passing C-45.
Chief Spence started a hunger strike and that sparked Idle No More. It literally swept through social media in a flash, that’s where it’s energy and heart lies. First the indigenous people in North America and in Canada were holding protests, then it moved all the way down to my reservation in New Mexico. And by protest I mean flash mob round dances; a group dance to a round dance powwow song. It's definitely not some kind of Occupy movement and it's not violent. They are showy protests that get the public to look our way, to ask, “What are you doing? What’s this for?” And more importantly "What are we doing to the environment? How will our children live with our actions?" It’s definitely peaceful; lots of signs, dancers, drum music and it's fun. And it’s all caught on camera and uploaded to the web
Through social media, the world can’t be blind. They see the posts, the videos and the thousands of homemade signs and pictures from throughout the world. People in Australia are Idle No More, Germany is Idle No More, politicians are taking another look at what Canada is doing and taking a look at what they’re doing when it comes to indigenous peoples and Mother Earth — at least I hope that’s what politicians are doing. It’s a big publicity movement that has taken on so many issues.
Not only does Idle No More address the state of Mother Earth, it’s addressing the state of of all women. Being Idle No More is standing up for your rights as an indigenous person of earth and against the rape and mistreatment of all women. It's about protecting all mothers because without them, there would be no existence. I think it's also showing pride and support for your tribe and all Natives. 
Though it started with indigenous people, earth is everyone's responsibility and everyone can be Idle No More. Right now, it seems like it's a "Native thing," but it really involves everyone — it just started with us. I hope it becomes a global thing and something this whole nation catches on to.
In a smaller sense, it seems that all our tribes are suddenly connected through Idle No More. And since a lot of it is happening on social media I think a lot of people are getting into it, taking a virtual role and waiting for the next round dance to come to their town.

Be Idle No More. Join the movement, or at least see what’s going on all over the country and the world.
Idle No More” on Facebook
#IdleNoMore on Twitter 
Also search for Idle No More on Tumblr

Here are some videos:
 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is a really good blog Andi. Thanks for writing it!

    ReplyDelete