What is IDLE NO MORE?

 

Idle No More is an ongoing protest movement originating among the Aboriginal peoples in Canada comprising the First NationsMetis and Inuit peoples and their non-Aboriginal supporters in Canada, and to a lesser extent, internationally. It has consisted of a number of political actions worldwide, inspired in part by the hunger strike of Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence and further coordinated via social media. A reaction to alleged abuses of indigenous treaty rights by the current federal government, the movement takes particular issue with the recent omnibus bill Bill C-45.

idle no more

Vision and goals

The founders of Idle No More have outlined the vision and goals of the movement in a January 10, 2013 press release as follows:

The Vision […] revolves around Indigenous Ways of Knowing rooted in Indigenous Sovereignty to protect water, air, land and all creation for future generations.The Conservative government bills beginning with Bill C-45 threaten Treaties and this Indigenous Vision of Sovereignty.

The Goal of the movement is education and the revitalization of Indigenous peoples through Awareness and Empowerment. IDLE NO MORE has successfully encouraged knowledge sharing of Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Protections.

The press release also states: “As a grassroots movement, clearly no political organization speaks for Idle No More”.[10]

Idle No More’s vision has been linked by some commentators in the press with longstanding leftist political theories of indigenism. During the protests of late 2012 and early 2013, the theoretical framework of Idle No More has been frequently articulated in the Canadian press by Pamela Palmater. Palmater has denounced what she perceives as the federal government’s “assimilationist agenda”.It has been pointed out by others that the definition of “nation” is itself problematic.

Sylvia McAdam, a co-founder of the movement, has stated that she does not condone the rail or road blockade tactics that some demonstrators have used, but has spoken in support of peaceful protest “within the legal boundaries”.[14]

 

The movement was initiated by activists Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon in November 2012, during ateach-in at Station 20 West in Saskatoon called “Idle No More”, held in response to the Harper government‘s introduction of Bill C-45.

C-45 is a large omnibus bill implementing numerous measures, many of which activists claim weaken environmental protection laws. In particular, laws protecting all of the country’s navigable waterways were limited in scope to protect only a few waterways of practical importance for navigation. Many of the affected waterways pass through land reserved to First Nations.

Law blog writer/observer Lorraine Land,[15] and Idle No More itself,[16] have identified the following current bills as affecting natives or native sovereignty:

  • Bill C-38 (Budget Omnibus Bill #1)
  • Bill C-45 (Budget Omnibus Bill #2)
  • Bill C-27 First Nations Financial Transparency Act
  • Bill S-2 Family Homes on Reserve and Matrimonial Interests or Right Act
  • Bill S-6 First Nations Elections Act
  • Bill S-8 Safe Drinking Water for First Nations
  • Bill C-428 Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act
  • Bill S-207 An Act to amend the Interpretation Act
  • Bill S-212 First Nations Self-Government Recognition Bill
  • “First Nations” Private Ownership Act

This led to a series of teach-ins, rallies and protests that were planned by the founders in a National Day Of Action on Dec. 10th which coincided with Amnesty Internationals Human Rights Day.These coincided with similar protests already underway in British Columbia over the Northern Gateway and Pacific Trails pipelines.

The protests were timed to coincide with the announcement that Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat was launching a hunger strike (no solid foods, limited to tea, water and broth) to demand a meeting with Prime Minister Harper and the Governor General of Canada to discuss Aboriginal rights. The Assembly of First Nations then issued an open letter 16 December to Governor General David Johnston, calling for a meeting to discuss Spence’s demands. Edmonton Activist Shannon Houle donated a blog and volunteered her time on the blog which became a much needed central resource for people wanting to connect with the visions and goals of Idle No More.

Also on 17 December the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations issued a press release saying that they did not recognize the legality of any laws passed by the Government of Canada “including but not limited to Bill C-45, which do not fulfill their constitutionally recognized and affirmed Treaty and Aboriginal rights; as well as the Crown’s legal obligations to meaningfully consult and accommodate First Nations.”

As of January 4, 2013, the main goals have been narrowed down to (1) the establishment of a Nation to Nation relationship between First Nations and the Government of Canada, rather than a relationship as defined in the Indian Act to address issues and (2) social and environmental sustainability. 

Solidarity protests

Indigenous protesters at an Idle No More event in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The protests have also spread outside of Canada. On 27 December an online source reported that there had been 30 protests in the United States, and solidarity protests in Stockholm, Sweden, London, UK, Berlin, Germany, Auckland, New Zealand, and Cairo, Egypt. On 30 December, approximately 100 people from Walpole Island marched to Algonac, Michigan.[33][29] CBS reported that “hundreds” attended a flash mob at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[34] The Twin Cities Daily Planet called it a crowd of “over a thousand” and stated that it followed another similar protest week earlier where Clyde Bellecourt was arrested, and another flash mob at the Paul Bunyan Mall in Bemidji.[35]On January 5th, the International Bridge was closed again from Mohawk protests from New York. 

Within the United States, protests have been reported in many states: Michigan, Minnesota, New York , Arizona, Colorado, Washington, D.C. and Texas…. Now all along California

 

MORE RECENTLY:

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/idle-no-more-sweeps-canada-and-beyond-aboriginals-say-enough-enough-146516

 

HELPFUL INFO – OTHER PERSPECTIVES:

http://www.racialicious.com/2013/01/16/idle-no-more-101/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Racialicious+(Racialicious+-+the+intersection+of+race+and+pop+culture)

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/news/idle-no-more/

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/01/16/canada-paul-martin-idle-no-more.html?cmp=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

 

 

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Current issues

Native Issues today….. have you heard about Native appropriations… well, I will re-blog this from

Indian Country Today

Victoria’s Secret Is Asking to Be Boycotted

By Ruth Hopkins

Nov. 9,2012

Not again!

In September, the Native community sprang into action voicing our collective outrage after we were assailed by Paul Frank’s “neon pow-wow” fashion night, complete with war-painted employees and C-list celebrities donning feather headbands, armed with plastic tomahawks. In response, Paul Frank not apologized, and the company pulled all Native imagery from their stores as well as online. They also announced that they will be hiring a Native designer to create a new line, with earnings going toward a Native charity.

Yet the barrage of attacks against Native American culture and identity continues to escalate. The usual parade of offensive Native American ‘costumes’ we’re typically forced to endure every Halloween was even more pronounced this year, as were the insults and racial epithets aimed at Natives who dared to demand respect for their Native identity, spiritual beliefs, and culture.

Just last week, No Doubt released a video for it’s latest single,”Looking Hot.” To our dismay, the video turned out to be little more than a Native appropriation extravaganza, paying homage to cheap, inaccurate, stereotypical Dime Store turkey feather accoutrements and the hypersexualization of Native women. Natives once again stepped up to the plate to defend their cultural dignity, and No Doubt apologized, pulling the video from circulation.

Now, Victoria’s Secret has upped the ante. Wednesday night, their fashion show featured model Karlie Kloss in a leopard print bikini accessorized with turquoise jewelry and fringe covered heels, strutting down the catwalk in a floor-length, feathered war bonnet.

As a Victoria’s Secret customer, I am livid. After years of patronage and loyalty to the Victoria’s Secret brand, I am repaid with the mean-spirited, disrespectful trivialization of my blood ancestry and the proud Native identity I work hard to instill in my children. Well, I’ve got news for you, Victoria’s Secret. Consider yourself boycotted. Perhaps it’s time for us to resume the feminist practice of bra-burning. Regardless, this Native girl is ready to go commando.

What is it going to take before the fashion industry, and mainstream society in general, realizes that making a mockery of Native identity is unacceptable?

Why is this practice offensive to Natives? Let’s peel away the layers of this tacky, racist onion. For one, Ms. Kloss has no business wearing a war bonnet at all. Not only is she not Native, she hasn’t earned the honor. Among my people, the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux), war bonnets are exclusively worn by men, and each feather within a war bonnet is symbolic of a brave act of valor accomplished by that man. Not just any Tom, Dick or Harry had the privilege of wearing a war bonnet. Who wears a war bonnet? Tatanka Iyotanka, Sitting Bull. Not a no-account waif paid to prance around on stage in her underwear. This brings me to my next point: the hypersexualization of Native women. Unfortunately, these days, if you search “war bonnet” or even “Native” on the Internet, you’re likely to come across dozens of pictures of naked, or nearly naked, white women wearing headdresses. Given the epidemic levels of sexual violence Native women and girls are faced with in the United States, why can they not see how incredibly insensitive and inappropriate it is to equate Native womanhood as little more than a sexual fetish?

Also, we’re a people, not a trend. We don’t wear costumes. We dress in regalia, and every single piece means something special. Our beadwork, leatherwork, and quillwork—every piece is a work of Art, unique onto itself and created by skilled, dedicated Native craftsman. War paint is also evocative, with colors and patterns that are meaningful. They tell a story. It’s not finger paint.

Time and time again I’ve heard the defenders of Native appropriation racism say we should “get over it.” We will not be bullied. Our identity, our culture, and our ways don’t belong to you; you can’t have them. They were passed down to us from our ancestors who dreamed them milennia ago. We will never stop fighting to protect it, nor demanding that you respect it, and in turn, us.

Another retort commonly expounded upon is that there are Natives who either voice approval for acts of Native appropriation, or claim not to care. I don’t know their hearts. Nonetheless, what happened to common courtesy, i.e. if someone doesn’t want to be made fun of, you cease the offensive behavior? Red face is just as offensive as black face.

Even if there are some Natives who don’t mind being mocked, there are plenty who do, and who will continue to protest the assault taking place against Native identity and culture. There are also a whole lot of non-Natives who are open-minded enough to understand why Native appropriation is wrong, and are standing with us in solidarity to defeat this racist, disrespectful, archaic practice. Whether deliberate or not, we hereby put those who commit ignorant, offensive acts of Native appropriation on warning. We’ve protested loudly, and long enough, where your using ignorance as an excuse is wearing thin. We will not relent. See it our way, or face the consequences—and the boycotts.

Make your voice known. Contact Victoria’s Secret on Facebook and Twitter and let them know just how wrong putting Karlie Kloss in a headdress was. You can also contact them here.

Sign the petition here.

Ruth Hopkins (Sisseton-Wahpeton/Mdewakanton/Hunkpapa) is a writer, speaker,former science professor and tribal attorney. She is a columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and LastRealIndians.com.

Read more:http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/ict_sbc/victorias-secret-is-asking-to-be-boycotted http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/ict_sbc/victorias-secret-is-asking-to-be-boycotted#ixzz2BlAtkHzf