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Idle No More movement continues

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While coverage of the movement may have faded from the mainstream media, Idle No More remains alive and well. 

One recent example of its continuance is its recent solidarity with Black Lives Matter in Toronto when anti-police brutality and anti-colonial activists camped out in front of police headquarters for two weeks during March 2016. 

Protestors claimed that despite the fact that Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders is black, little has changed in the dynamic of racially motivated police arrests or interrogations.

Another example of an Idle No More action was the recent #OccupyINAC, where activists occupied the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in response to a housing crisis at Attawapiskat First Nation. Attawapiskat and many other small reserves are on the verge on collapse due to inadequateon-reserve housing, boil water advisories, and, most heartbreaking of all, a rash of child and youth suicides.

INAC offices in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver were all occupied for various amounts of time beginning on April 18, 2016.

A second look by politicians -- even though Justin Trudeau did break a promise to Attawapiskat youth to visit them -- and money and social workers were also pledged to try and stabilise the situation.

But, as I mentioned earlier, there are many Attawapiskats across Canada that are in a dire need of attention and funding.

Nina Wilson, one of the four co-founders of Idle No More, recently published a broad sheet in response to the Husky oil spill in Saskatchewan.

Wilson released a press release on July 31st:

INM has and will continue to help build sovereignty & resurgence of nationhood.

INM will continue to pressure government and industry to protect the environment.

INM will continue to build allies in order to reframe the nation to nation relationship, this will be done by including grassroots perspectives, issues, and concern.

Guided by these original vision statements of Idle No More, we as grassroots reassert our determination that we will continue to protect Mother Earth and all her sacred elements.

The most recent oil spill in which Husky, provincial government and all other stakeholders who stand by as waters become polluted, animals die and people become sick has reinvigorated unity amongst our organizers.

As the true rights holders and protectors of the land, water, air and energies, we call upon Husky Oil to provide ALL necessary measures to their employees, contractors and any volunteers to clean and remediate the current infection to the environment.

Idle No More calls on all who are able to continue to exercise your inherent rights and jurisdiction in protecting and assuring we are no longer further affected by this most recent oil spill.

Idle No More calls upon Husky Oil to provide all necessary training to our protectors and to reimburse at cost any remediation efforts made on behalf of Mother Earth to our land defenders.

We assert that you are not welcome in our territories once your clean up efforts have satisfied the lives of the animals and the waters clean

We exercise our jurisdiction in commanding pipelines are shut off and never to be operating again

Whereas the most recent oil spill has begun irreparable damage to the earths elements and it is evident that provincial and federal regulations and laws are not consistent with Indigenous laws, 
Let it be known that we will prioritize safety and protection of Mother Earth and all her elements over the extractive industry and all its stakeholders.

We as citizens of sovereign nations assert our jurisdiction and demand inclusion in regulating environmental assessments and ensuring environmental laws and regulations adhere to the first laws and Indigenous laws and worldview. We expect provisional measures be put in place by Provincial and federal governments to attain this stewardship and doing this in part by assuring capacity and resources will be directed to the management of such.

Hopefully much discussion will occur during the all-important pow wow season and people will come back together in the fall, as there is much to be done, including the high number of cases of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. 

Photo taken by David Coombs at a Black Lives Matter rally

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