Idle No More

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm glad it's getting a lot of circulation. Smile

I've been reading the INM Facebook pages for a while now - quite a diversity of opinions as to tactics.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ BoomBoom

That was one of the things INM founder Sylvia McAdam said at the University of Regina yesterday. It was reported this morning, and is now on the CBC website:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2013/01/14/sk-idle-no-m...

 

Good article and video clip - but terrible and false headline. McAdam never said or expressed any such sentiment. She simply scolded the media for concocting the view that Chief Spence is the "de facto leader" of Idle No More. She honoured Chief Spence and mocked the MSM propaganda that she is on a "liquid diet". She says "it's not a diet - it's a hunger strike". The solidarity of different actors and movements heading for the same goal is moving and inspiring.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

Good article and video clip - but terrible and false headline.

Yes, I agree. I guess someone couldn't help but spin it. Better treatment at least than Chief Spence got in that CBC article on her latest press conference, which was refered to in the article as a "rant".

Michelle

Is everyone loving the satirical #Ottawapiskat Twitter tag as much as I am?  So hilarious.  My favourites so far:

Quote:

@JeffNDeloraine

In the #Ottawapiskat language they have over a hundred different ways of saying "Talk to you later!"

 

@350orbust1

In #Ottawapiskat if Chief Harper dsn't like the questions, he closes up t band office 4 months at a time

 

@cmyrden

A million people from their tribe use foodbanks each month, while their Grand Chief GG serves 10 course meals in his palace. #Ottawapiskat

 

@aaronpaquette: Why does the leader live in a mansion while members of the community are homeless? #Ottawapiskat #idlenomore

 

@derrickokeefe

One entire level of government in #Ottawapiskat consists of unaccountable, overpaid appointees who almost never go to work.

 

‏@Taiaiake

Re-educating the children of #Ottawapiskat is key to overcoming the devastating and socially crippling effects of Smug Complacency Disorder.

Michelle

Oh, sorry, missed lefty's post above!  :)

NDPP

Murray Dobbin has a good new piece on INM on Tyee, Counterpunch, as does Linda Mcquaig in the Star. Will post later if someone else doesn't.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

There's a lot on INM at rabble.ca as well.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

laine lowe wrote:

Thanks for the link to that documentary, epaulo. It's amazing to see messages and videos of solidarity from across the globe.

The pundits, Mulcair and Harper have no clue of how rooted this movement is to indigenous peoples rights and their relationship to lands and waters. Chief Spence wanted to meet with the PM and GG. Harper responded with a "follow-up" meeting with the AFN who last met in January 2012 (with absolutely nothing substantive resulting from that meeting). Mulcair can praise Atleo all he wants and patronisingly tell Chief Spence to reconsider her hunger strike. Both are missing the point in my view. The environmental changes in the omnibus bill have huge impact on the power every indigenous group in this country has to negotiate how the land they live on is used, be it Metis, Inuit or First Nations.

From what I've seen, Harper won't budge on revisiting the offending omnibus bills. And sadly, Mulcair won't even address what aspects of those bills are so offensive to the people supporting and actively participating in Idle No More. I have no idea if the other parties have done a better job of it because if they have had, it's certainly not being reported. Bottom line is that there are no politicians who are adequately explaining what the movement is about.

On the other hand, the aboriginal people I know have no problem with discussing what the movement is about and how it impacts their lives.

..i very much agree with what you have said laine. i would like to add that all the parties serve capital 1st. the more i see the ndp in government the more i believe that they have gone over to the dark side like in spain, greece and portugal. social democratic parties all buying into austerity and corporate dominance. for power and privillage i would imagine.

..what i've seen in videos from elsewhere is how people naturally adopt "idle no more" for themselves. it resonates then awakens something. i've had a smile on my face these days more often than before inm. my tolerence is up and my face to face exchanges are more positive. this happened to me when i was active in the occupy. i think i'm going to have a good run this year.Smile

 

jas
arielc

6079_Smith_W wrote:

"The naive INM participant" lumped together with judges and reactionaries, NDPP?

Seems to me that judge and many of those crackers would be more than happy to see this decay into violence.

I am no supporter of McHale's opinions, but I will support his right to speak freely.

Name-calling cuts both ways, though, so I can't support that.

NDPP

First Nations Groups Launch Blockades, Protests in Idle No More Day of Action

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/first-nations-groups-set-fo...

"Protests prompted by first-nations frustration with the federal government flared in at least five provinces Wednesday. According to witnesses and news reports, protests were being held and roads blocked Wednesday in locations from coast to coast..."

6079_Smith_W

@ arielc

I didn't say anything about his right to speak; I just disagree with him. But it is a bit of a paradox, given that his point is to misinterpret and negate the opinions of others.

And fair enough on the name calling. I feel quite comfortable using the term, but if it's a problem...

 

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://www.nfu.ca/story/national-farmers-union-solidarity-idle-no-more]N... Farmers Union in Solidarity with Idle No More[/url]

Quote:
“The NFU is proud to declare its solidarity with Idle No More, which is bringing people together from across Canada to stop the Harper government from riding roughshod over our collective rights,” says Glenn Tait, NFU National Board member.  “We want a better Canada.”

The NFU is calling for the federal government to fulfill its Constitutional duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal and Treaty rights and urges the Crown to respect and fulfill the obligations of its Treaties with First Nations. We are all Treaty people.

The NFU gratefully acknowledges the leadership that First Nations people - the first farmers, fisher people, and hunters of this land - have provided in catalyzing a public call to action for environmental and social justice. The NFU, in solidarity with Idle No More and its allies, looks forward to building a society in which our forests, waters, land, and people live and produce in harmony.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

beautiful!

theleftyinvestor

Romeo Saganash has returned to the public eye with quite an entrance - a multi-part interview with Aaron Wherry. Part One was published today:

http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/01/16/qa-romeo-saganash-part-one/

The subhead promises: I sat down with him in his Parliament Hill office this morning to talk about his fight against alcoholism, his experiences as a child in a residential school, #IdleNoMore, Theresa Spence and his role as an aboriginal in politics.

Part One does not mention Idle No More, but he speaks very eloquently about his residential school experience. I was reading this in the lunchroom at work, and was on the verge of tears. Edit: Part Two is up as well. I have not read it yet.

In that statement you released when you said you were going to take some time off, you talked about a few things, one of them being your residential school experience. Do you see that as the root of things? Is that where the trouble starts?

[...]

So it did affect me in a certain way, obviously. Especially the fact that right after my arrival at a residential school, the director of the residential school announced that my dad had passed away. And we couldn’t go back to the community because the residential school did not have budgets for that … I come from a large family, 14 kids, and we were sent to different residential schools, purposely. Some went to Sault St. Marie, some went to Brantford, some went to Moosonee, I went to La Tuque residential school. And I still clearly remember the day, on the intercom system, when the director called on the Saganash family to come to his office, on a January morning. And he basically said it in one phrase: Your dad is dead, but we cannot send you kids back home because there’s no budget for that.

Is there any way to quantify how difficult that experience was? Were you abused, was it just being away from your family?

Being sent to a residential school is like being a political prisoner, a linguistic prisoner, a cultural prisoner. You’re taken away, not only from your family, but from your culture, your language and your territory and being sent to this strange place that you’ve never seen before. And I still recall that night we arrived, up the steps, there’s an entrance hall there and the director or priest was up a few steps higher and started speaking in a language I couldn’t even understand. The only language that I spoke when I got there was Cree.

And I still recall hearing the other kids, don’t forget there were four-, five-year-old kids … the kids crying every night, crying out for their mom.

Have you made peace with the residential school experience? Is it possible to make peace with that?

I’m not entirely sure. Because of a lot of things. I still recall, for instance, when the apology came down in the House of Commons by Stephen Harper. The very next day after that apology, I was in Geneva, debating the the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. And what did the Canadian representatives say at the UN the very next day? They continued to deny the very fundamental rights of the people that they apologized to the previous day. So that apology meant nothing in that sense for me.

I think about the parents as well in all this. When you realize that every fall, entire communities across this land just emptied of kids and children. Every fall. And my mom lost perhaps all of her children every fall. I don’t think there can be peace, really, with what happened. I just can’t put myself in my mom’s place and say, okay, it happened and let’s forget about this and move on. No, I don’t think so.

Especially because in her case, her first child that was sent to a residential school was in 1954. Little John, I believe, was six years old when he was sent. Never came back. Apparently died the very first year he got to a residential school. My mom, my parents, never knew from what he died. My mom never knew where he was buried, for more than 40 years.

Does she know now?

Now she knows and It just happened by coincidence. My sister, who’s still at CBC North in Montreal, was a reporter at the time and did this story on comparative analysis between the Cree on one side and the Cree on the other side of the bay. And so she happened to be in Moosonee and at one point during her stay there a lady came out of her home and asked if she was Emma Saganash. Emma said yes. Are you related to Johnny Saganash? Yeah, my little brother was sent to a residential school. I know where he’s buried? Forty years later. So finally we knew where he was laid to rest. Fortunately my sister had her camera crew there and so they filmed while they were looking for… there was no little cross or tombstone, it was just, the lady knew the name of the person who he was laid next to. So they filmed that. And we showed that to our mom.

(Pauses) You know, I saw my mom cry often in my life. Not the way she cried that day. That was a fundamental closure for her.

 

 

theleftyinvestor

Part Two: http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/01/16/qa-romeo-saganash-part-two/

Pretty much all about INM.

What do make of the blockades and those protests? Do you think that some good can come from that? Is that the right tactic to take at this point?

What else can they do, in order to be heard? I think that the attempt to provide an understanding, educating Canadians, is a very noble one. And we need that, most definitely. As long as it remains peaceful, I think we’re on the right track. But, again, like I said, I think a lot of the issues that are raised, especially the young aboriginals, are crucial to this country, crucial to this country’s environment, economy, natural resources and justice. We need to get into this all together. It’s the only way.

I worked for 23 years at the United Nations, negotiating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on behalf of the 370 indigenous people on this planet, and to this day the UN declaration is the only international law instrument that provides for the rights of non-indigenous people. There are 17 provisions in that declaration that provide for your rights as a non-indigenous person. We managed to find a balance there. If we can do it at this high, UN, multilateral process, we can certainly do it here as Canadians. And that’s my hope.

How difficult is Mr. Atleo’s position right now? There seems to be some sense that his leadership is threatened, right? And there is all this talk of division underneath him.

I don’t think we should be surprised by the so-called disunity of aboriginal chiefs in this country. Not at all. There are ten provincial premiers that have a hard time being united at times on certain issues before the prime minister, so it’s not surprising. I think people need to understand that we live in such varied and diverse political contexts in this country. That it is normal that we cannot always be united and say the same thing on every issue. It’s perfectly normal. I mean, the Cree in Northern Quebec have the James Bay-Northern Quebec agreement, on the other side of the bay they don’t have a James Bay-Northern Quebec agreement. It’s not only province by province where aboriginal peoples have different political contexts, but it’s also various regions in each of these provinces. The Cree in Northern Quebec have a treaty, the Inuit as well, the Innu, the Algonquins don’t have a treaty similar to ours, so it’s always very difficult to have one voice in that context. I mean, there are Crees in Quebec, in Ontario, in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Montana, North Dakota, there’s no one unified Cree voice in this country, right?

So it’s obviously very difficult for my friend Shawn in that context. But I think the way that he has tried to pull all this together is formidable.

What do you make of Theresa Spence’s hunger strike?

Like many other people, I’m worried about her health and her life. I’m planning to go and see her this afternoon sometime if I have time. We have to tip our hat because she got the Prime Minister moving, I hope in the right direction. We saw movement. I hope in the right direction and finally once and for all because these are issues that are long overdue. It’s not easy to move Stephen Harper and she did. So at least we got that.

From experience, I have always attempted to give people a chance to prove themselves, in any context. For 30 years we fought the Quebec government, but there was a moment in time where we had to decide, okay, let’s give this one more try. And I think that’s what happened. And let’s just hope that this will move forward because he committed to doing something a year ago and he didn’t. Let’s just hope that this time is the right time.

Do you feel at all like a standard bearer for people and issues? Do you even want that position or title?

I don’t like that question. But let me say this, and I think I said this publicly before. When Jack and I used to talk about these issues, I said if I do get elected as an NDP MP, I wouldn’t want that file. For various reasons, but the fundamental one is this is a Canadian problem. Why should it be the burden of an aboriginal person to fix the problem that was created by non-aboriginals? That was my point with Jack, at that time. It’s still my point of view at this moment, but again I do realize that the experience that I have over the past three decades with these issues and trying to move these issues forward for the benefit of all, not just the aboriginal people, and trying to find a true balance between aboriginal interests and Canadian interests… yeah, I have that experience and if I can be of some help at this moment in time with that experience in mind, of course.

[...]

A lot of people I hear discussing the aboriginal question or issue in this country say, well, it’s going to take a lot of time to fix the problem. Yeah, perhaps. Perhaps, allow me to say. But the fundamental thing that is required, and it’s a very basic thing, is the political will. Is there the political will to really fix the problem, once and for all, for the benefit of all Canadians? If that political will is there, the rest will come more easily. And that’s what I’m looking for. That’s why I’m saying, let’s give the guy a chance, let’s give the parties a chance. I’m glad that Shawn attended the meeting. I’m glad that the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of Cree attended the meeting. And let’s take it from there. Let’s see what happens from there.

 

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

[url=http://www.nfu.ca/story/national-farmers-union-solidarity-idle-no-more]N... Farmers Union in Solidarity with Idle No More[/url]

Quote:
“The NFU is proud to declare its solidarity with Idle No More, which is bringing people together from across Canada to stop the Harper government from riding roughshod over our collective rights,” says Glenn Tait, NFU National Board member.  “We want a better Canada.”

The NFU is calling for the federal government to fulfill its Constitutional duty to consult and accommodate Aboriginal and Treaty rights and urges the Crown to respect and fulfill the obligations of its Treaties with First Nations. We are all Treaty people.

The NFU gratefully acknowledges the leadership that First Nations people - the first farmers, fisher people, and hunters of this land - have provided in catalyzing a public call to action for environmental and social justice. The NFU, in solidarity with Idle No More and its allies, looks forward to building a society in which our forests, waters, land, and people live and produce in harmony.

..grassroots movements coming together. this is huge. i believe this is how real change happens.

arielc

Quote:
National Farmers Union in Solidarity with Idle No More

I'm really happy to see this.

And there's lots of good news here too:
http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5961

[I] And while neither side gets good marks for cooperation from Canadians, there is an acknowledgement that the Federal government must act now to help raise the quality of life of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples by two thirds (63%) nationally with the most support coming from Atlantic Canadians (68%), Ontarians (66%) and Quebecers (65%) with least support from Manitoba/Saskatchewan (49%), Alberta 55% and British Columbians (59%).
...
However, if roads and railways are shut down due to protest, most Canadians (59%) would want the police to back off and let things cool down as opposed to moving in to arrest the protestors (41%). British Columbians (75%) and Atlantic Canadians (74%) most believe that this ‘cool down’ approach is the best option, while those in the Prairies (55% - Saskatchewan/Manitoba and 45% - Alberta) and Ontario (47%) believe this is the wrong approach.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

onlinediscountanvils

[url=http://redindiangirl.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-redvolution-has-begun.html]The Redvolution has Begun![/url]

Quote:
The backlash has been hard to take. I must say it has shocked me, the depth of rancour and nastiness and sheer blunt angry ignorance. This is the ugliness of racism of people who are trying to maintain their privilege on our backs. But my people -- holy Creator they have been incredible. Strong, resilient, smart and funny -- the amount of laughter I've had, laughing out loud at some of the hilarious Tweets I read, the funny comments, the brilliant jesting. They refuse to back down. They aren't getting mad, they're laughing. Laughing at the settlers!! Inviting them in, saying, Oh come on, join us! Dance with us! This is the way it's supposed to be, on our land.

O Canada, you will have to change. It is inevitable. You cannot run from your colonial past. It is catching up to you. There is a generation walking among you who have come of age, the first to not be torn from their homes and thrown into a residential school. They are tired of the lateral violence, of the racist Indian Act that throttles and controls every aspect of life on the Rez, they are tired of watching scraps thrown at us while the settlers feast on the riches of our land. They have bested the odds of graduating high school, have gone to university, have educated themselves. They will not stand Idle and watch corporations strip our lands of all their resources. They know how to resist, they know how to argue, they know the legal twists and turns, they will not back down.

O Canada, your home is on native land. How will you honour this fact?[/url]

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Whapmagoostui First Nation youth are trekking 1100 kms to Ottawa. Idle No More

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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

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Gulf Coast activists Bob Lindsey Jr and Diane Wilson end their incredible 45 day hunger strike in Houston with a short message:

"We stand in solidarity with the Unist'ot'en Camp, the Idle No More movement and Chief Theresa Spence who is now on the 36th day of a hunger strike. They have become catalysts for resistance to the destruction of the earth and struggle against the colonization of it’s inhabitants, a battle that indigenous communities have fought for over 500 years on this continent."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Turtle Island Movement - I.N.M March

When Monday, January 28, 2013, 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Where Native Education College
285 East 5th Avenue, Vancouver

Details We are going to begin the march from the Native Education College (Main & 5th) to the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Building (1138 Melville St) in Vancouver.

This is in solidarity with the Idle No More call for a Global Day of Action on January 28th 2013 & also the "gathering of nations" rally being held at the INAC building.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Pam Palmater was just on CTV - said all the INM action has been legal and peaceful and everyone has co-operated with police. Said INM has to continue until Canada lifts its bloackade of First Nations people, and that the status quo is unsustainable for First Nations, and indeed for all Canadians. She would have been a hell of a leader if she beat Atleo.

 

quizzical

Boom Boom wrote:
Pam Palmater was just on CTV -  She would have been a hell of a leader if she beat Atleo. 

 i think this is a ill-advised and ill-considered comment for a few reasons. it made me VERY uncomfortable. i went away to think 'bout it.

1. i don't like all the shooting down of  Shawn Atleo by white settlers that's been going on here. not just in this thread but others too.

2. i don't like the set up happening here not just with this post i quoted but with others too of settlers portraying a picture of FN's being against each other.

3. Pam Palmater is already a FN leader. she doesn't have to have a Indian Act title  legitimizing her. to say she "would've been  hell of leader" is to indicate she isn't one now.

4. there's no ally in this type of comment and others llike it.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The CN Rail blockade today.

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..........

‘We will be back,’ says former chief on day that saw rail blockades, marches, round dances again sweep cross-country

A Mohawk man from Tyendinaga sits on a train bridge while the sun sets on day of mass action across the country.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'm a settler shutting this down. HA!

jjuares

quizzical wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:
Pam Palmater was just on CTV -  She would have been a hell of a leader if she beat Atleo. 

 i think this is a ill-advised and ill-considered comment for a few reasons. it made me VERY uncomfortable. i went away to think 'bout it.

1. i don't like all the shooting down of  Shawn Atleo by white settlers that's been going on here. not just in this thread but others too.

2. i don't like the set up happening here not just with this post i quoted but with others too of settlers portraying a picture of FN's being against each other.

3. Pam Palmater is already a FN leader. she doesn't have to have a Indian Act title  legitimizing her. to say she "would've been  hell of leader" is to indicate she isn't one now.

4. there's no ally in this type of comment and others llike it.

This comment perfectly captures the cul de sac the left finds itself in. When Mulcair called for Spence to end her fast he was immediately denounced by many here for having an opinion and then having the temerity to actually voice it. Well, I guess if you subscribe to the notions of identity politics being paramount rather than class the comment above is not only appropriate but overwhelmingly convincing. So much so that all "white settlers' should now refrain from making any comments about the struggle before us.

For me, being an old fashioned socialist who values free speech and democracy as being absolute necessary prerquisites for socialism I see Mulcair's comments as being not only appropriate but tactically wise.

But then again I judged his comments on their value not on the ethnic background of the speaker. And that just has to be wrong.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Canada’s Energy Juggernaut Hits a Native Roadblock

Those who believe we can freely trash the environment in our quest to make ourselves richer suffer from a serious delusion — a delusion that doesn’t appear to afflict aboriginal people.

Aboriginals tend to live in harmony with Mother Earth. Their approach has long baffled and irritated Canada’s white establishment, which regards it as a needless impediment to unbridled economic growth.....

https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/15-11

 

Aristotleded24

I think an important aspect of Idle No More has been overlooked. You look at how over the last few decades, the shopping mall has become more of a gathering hub for the commuinity than the public square, which goes to show how commerce has invaded all aspects of our lives. One thing that really brought Idle No More to the public attention was the flash mobs in the shopping centres, in a way reclaiming what should be public space. All of us have the Idle No More movement to thank for that.

NDPP

Idle No More: Aljazeera Inside Story Americas (and vid)

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2013/01/20131167...

"So, can Idle No More and the rest of Canada's indigenous community come together and force the government to act? Joining Inside Story Americas, with presenter Shihab Rattansi, are guests Pamela Palmater, a spokesperson for the Idle No More movement, Grand Chief Derek Nepinak from the province of Manitoba, and Tim Powers, a former government adviser on aboriginal affairs..'

ilha formosa

quizzical wrote:

4. there's no ally in this type of comment and others llike it.

That one is just plain bad argumentation.

6079_Smith_W

@ ilha formosa

This is a touchy subject to be sure, but I don't think anyone appreciates being called paranoid, or told to chill out. And consider where we are.

ilha formosa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

One thing that really brought Idle No More to the public attention was the flash mobs in the shopping centres, in a way reclaiming what should be public space.

I thought of the trees, streams, rocks and wildlife that were once there.

kropotkin1951

When lefties start to listen to what Harper and his minions have to say about NDP MP's and union leaders I might start thinking that lefties should tell FN's what their politics should look like.

Racist Settler wrote:

You know if those damn Indians would just listen to us settlers their problems would have been solved at least a century ago.  Why do they have to confront us when we have been so generous to them.  We have been exceptionally generous in our sharing of views on what is best for them.

 

kropotkin1951

"Now everyone will be out to get me!"

Passive aggressive much ilha?  First you claim your right to say anything about FN's leaders and activists and then you play the "I'm a potential victim" card on top of it.  WOW You are the oppressed one not those FN's activists. I get it now.

Go ahead and see what happens on this board if you call union leaders "union bosses" and "sellouts" who don't have their members interests at heart. You are going to be told that babble is not the place for anti union memes.  Why should it be different for our allies in the FN's movements and institutions? 

 

Serviam6

kropotkin1951 wrote:

"Now everyone will be out to get me!"

Passive aggressive much ilha?  First you claim your right to say anything about FN's leaders and activists and then you play the "I'm a potential victim" card on top of it.  WOW You are the oppressed one not those FN's activists. I get it now.

I think he was making a joke. Trying to use a bit of humor to ease the tension a bit.

6079_Smith_W

Well to talk about the actual issue, I have just as much of a problem with people second-guessing who First Nations choose as their leader, especially at a point where that person has a job to do, and doesn't need being undermined. That's the main reason why I raised the point upthread. While I think there are some grey areas and differences of opinion around some of this, that much (and, for that matter, the stated goals of INM) is clear.

 

 

theleftyinvestor

Okay, everyone take a deep breath.

It is a fact that there are ideological fault lines here. (e.g. from APTN this week AFN’s fault lines magnified by Idle No More movement, Attawapiskat Chief Spence’s protest)

It's really got to be a no-win situation for allies to pick at those fault lines.

What do you make of Tim Harper's piece today in the Star? It echoes some of what APTN's own article pointed to. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1316775--the-demoniz...

As he rode to a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last Friday, Shawn Atleo’s Blackberry buzzed.

“Since you have decided to betray me, all I ask of you now is to help carry my cold dead body off this island,’’ the text message said.

It was sent in the name of Chief Theresa Spence, but those who saw the text believe it came from someone else in her circle on Victoria Island.

But they were certain about one thing — the timing, moments before he went into one of the most important meetings of his life, was meant to destabilize the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and undermine his efforts at a meeting which many in his organization fiercely opposed.

The missive distilled two vicious strains coursing through the internal fighting at the AFN — the threats and intimidation under which its leadership is functioning, and the growing sense from some that the Attawapiskat chief, now entering day 38 of a liquid diet with the temperature dipping to -27C here, is being used as a pawn in an internal political struggle.

[...]

Earlier this week, Roger Augustine, the regional chief for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, told iPolitics Spence had agreed to end her hunger strike, but changed demands when political foes of Atleo got involved.

Metatawabin said Spence remains strong and her supporters united.

But she is now being overshadowed by internal fighting within the AFN.

She needs a way out before people no longer pay any attention to her.

The best I can think of as an ally is to support ideas and actions but stay out of directing anyone how to get there. It's not up to allies to choose FN leadership.

ilha formosa

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ ilha formosa

This is a touchy subject to be sure, but I don't think anyone appreciates being called paranoid, or told to chill out. And consider where we are.

We are in a place where we are expressing what we think while trying to be civil with each other. And there is a bit of peer moderating going on, it's not all up to the moderators is it? I'll make no further replies to that particular post of quizzical's.

[ok one edit: quizzical, I have nothing against your passion, I was pointing to weaknesses in your argumentation]

Now everyone will be out to get me!

 

 

ilha formosa

quizzical, please chill out a bit

Boom Boom wrote:
Pam Palmater was just on CTV -  She would have been a hell of a leader if she beat Atleo. 

 i think this is a ill-advised and ill-considered comment for a few reasons. it made me VERY uncomfortable. i went away to think 'bout it.

"Ill advised?" This is a discussion board, not an organization of some sort that has to show a united front. And comfort as a criterion only cuts it in a bourgeois consumerist culture. Imagine if the only thing artists wanted to do was make viewers comfortable.

1. i don't like all the shooting down of  Shawn Atleo by white settlers that's been going on here. not just in this thread but others too.

I myself asked a question using loaded words, but it was a question not an insinuation. Can questions be asked and discussions be had?

2. i don't like the set up happening here not just with this post i quoted but with others too of settlers portraying a picture of FN's being against each other.

Nor would you want people to perceive indigenous peoples as monolithic and all the same. FNs have found common cause with non-indigenous people too during these past weeks. Tolerance of diversity of opinion within a group is a strength. And I don't think the comment was intended as a set up of any kind.

3. Pam Palmater is already a FN leader. she doesn't have to have a Indian Act title  legitimizing her. to say she "would've been  hell of leader" is to indicate she isn't one now.

I think the intent of the comment was, she would have been a hell of an AFN leader, which does not necessarily imply that she isn't a leader now or that Atleo is a poor leader. Where did that bit come from, the original comment, or your own interpretation?

4. there's no ally in this type of comment and others llike it.

Do you realize how paranoid and totalitarian this comment is?

[eta: quizzical, I have nothing against your passion, I am pointing to weaknesses in your argumentation]

kropotkin1951

The people involved in the INM movement have virtually no say in the internal politics of the AFN.  We should all remember that the AFN is a council of Chiefs from Indian Act bands. Its politics is driven by the competing interest of demanding what is right for your people and making sure your FN doesn't get put on the "no priority" list in the halls of Ottawa where white people oversee everything an Indian Act band is allowed to do.

Chief Spence represents her FN and has decided that enough is enough and she is going to fight for basic rights starting with respect for the nation to nation treaty that her people signed.  Other FN's see their interests differently and are trying to maximize their peoples benefits under the system that currently exists. 

There is no place for anyone who wants to be an ally to second guess the decisions made by individual FN's or their regional and national representatives.  If you want to be a pundit or a commentator then that is your right but don't delude yourself that you can be both.

quizzical

jjuares wrote:
This comment perfectly captures the cul de sac the left finds itself in. When Mulcair called for Spence to end her fast he was immediately denounced by many here for having an opinion and then having the temerity to actually voice it. Well, I guess if you subscribe to the notions of identity politics being paramount rather than class the comment above is not only appropriate but overwhelmingly convincing. So much so that all "white settlers' should now refrain from making any comments about the struggle before us.

For me, being an old fashioned socialist who values free speech and democracy as being absolute necessary prerquisites for socialism I see Mulcair's comments as being not only appropriate but tactically wise.

But then again I judged his comments on their value not on the ethnic background of the speaker. And that just has to be wrong.

i'm not much into  discussions on class vs identity politics. in this thread anyway. 

i think a thread should be started though. i don't much  and could stand to learn why some people think identity politics aren't a part of class politics. or that class politics is not a part of identity politics.

and should class polictics even be a reality now? egalitarian society requires identities to become equal in a world's social contract.

trying to make a reality of identity politics is shutting down free speech and democracy is a fkn hoot though.

i think we're way beyond the former belief of  'once white men reach equality with each other everyone else will be equal too."

 

quizzical

ilha formosa wrote:
quizzical wrote:

4. there's no ally in this type of comment and others llike it.

That one is just plain bad argumentation.

no its not.

allies don't pass  judgements in a state of not knowing.

quizzical

theleftyinvestor wrote:
It's really got to be a no-win situation for allies to pick at those fault lines.

The best I can think of as an ally is to support ideas and actions but stay out of directing anyone how to get there. It's not up to allies to choose FN leadership.

allies don't pick at fault lines. period.

and exactly!

quizzical

6079_Smith_W wrote:
This is a touchy subject to be sure, but I don't think anyone appreciates being called paranoid, or told to chill out. And consider where we are.

its touchy only because non-allies are trying to say they are.

and don't cha know we Indians are just paranoid and need to chill out.

and the comment goes unchecked by the mods too...but that's just me being paranoid...i guess

6079_Smith_W

Sorry to offend quizzical.

What I mean is that the dispute over how much one can say and still be in solidarity cuts across the FN/non-FN line.

Look. I have only spoken in support of Chief Atleo, Chief Spence, and INM. And I am concerned by some of the voices that seem to be undermining their efforts for a negotiated solution in favour of confrontation that may be premature. Am I supposed to pretend that those opinions aren't there?

 

quizzical

i didn't take offense by anything you said. i got what you meant.  i was ruffled  by all the attacks against me and using your post to respond to them. sorry if you thought i was taking exception to your position.

 

6079_Smith_W

Thanks for the clarification. Cheers.

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