Idle No More's founders and its chapters across the country have issued a call to build mounting pressure, including through mass non-violent direct actions to be joined by non-natives, to challenge "the Harper government and the corporate agenda."
The declaration, jointly released with Defenders of the Land, a network of Indigenous communities, leaders, and activists involved in high-profile struggles to defend their land rights, calls for a "Solidarity Spring" to precede a "Sovereignty Summer," with actions on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, Earth Day on April 22, and through the summer.
For most of us, a kilometre is a decent distance to walk to just buy groceries. For Leo Baskatawang, four thousand and four hundred kilometres was worth it to go to seek justice for Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.
Leo, a 32-year-old Masters student, decided earlier this year that something needed to be done. He had watched the coverage of the Crown-First Nations summit in January, and realized that the government was giving short-shrift to Aboriginal issues. "That was the last straw," he said of the summit.
Marchers set off from Victoria Island to Parliamant Hill after a brief ceremony.
Indigenous leaders march to deliver the Kari-Oca Declaration.
It's been twenty years since the first Earth Summit. That's nearly 500 months, or over 7,000 days. Yet, during all that time, state governments around the world have nearly completely neglected their responsibilities to the natural world, and it's starting to show.
Hundreds of people from across North America gathered on Parliament Hill for a rally followed by a mass civil disobedience sit-in. Participants are delivering a resounding message to Harper: "We want to build a green energy future that respects Indigenous rights and prioritizes the health of our environment and communities."
Delivered on June 10, 2011 at the Welcoming Protest outside the 2011 Conservative Party Convention.
My name is Ben Powless, and I am a citizen of the Kanienkehaka, or Mohawk, Nation. I am honoured to have been asked to speak before you today as an Onkewehonwe, as an Indigenous man. I thank you all for coming out today. I want to repeat sentiment that our very presence here today is proof that Harper does not represent us, as Indigenous Peoples.
So, Canada has announced that it will ‘support' the UN Declaration. Is it time to celebrate yet? What does that even mean?
Let's take a closer look. First off, they announced this on a Friday afternoon, right after they announced major plans with the Afghanistan war, burying the story. Second, the announcement came as a press release posted online - no press conference where people could ask clarifying questions, no informing Indigenous Peoples, just a passive admission on a website.
[This is Part II of a multi-part series – for Part I, click here.]
There was a time when the idea of biofuel -- energy produced by simply growing plants, instead of digging it up from the ground -- seemed like it would solve many environmental and even social problems. Of course, this was something that maybe we wanted to all believe -- simply by changing the pump at the gas station, eventually we would be able use our planes, trains and automobiles guilt-free. Then the doubts started to emerge, and like a poorly built dam, the water eventually burst.
The Amazon, it is often said, functions like the lungs of Mother Earth. The dense forest and undergrowth absorb much of the carbon dioxide that we manage to pump into the skies –- an ever more important and taxing effort in light of the threats to our climate.