Canada | Opinion

Chelsea Vowel: Native people stand up and say Idle No More





"Although thousands of indigenous people all over Canada rallied together under the banner of Idle No More on December 10th, there has been very little media coverage on the movement. Most of what is being said in the mainstream media is focused on Bill C-45. I'd like to make it clear: they're getting it wrong.

Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat did not launch a hunger strike over a single piece of legislation. The women who are planning on supporting her in a nationwide fast, in relay, are not doing this because of a single piece of legislation. Canada, this is not just about Bill C-45 or even all the other Bills rammed through Parliament lately.

We contend that:

The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between Canada and First Nations who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources. Instead, First Nations have experienced a history of colonization which has resulted in outstanding land claims, lack of resources and unequal funding for services such as education and housing."

Get the Story:
Chelsea Vowel: The Natives Are Restless. Wondering Why? (Indian Country Today 12/17)