Idle No More Movement’s Manifesto

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The Idle No More grassroots movement has taken Canada by storm. On Monday, it held peaceful protests in major cities across Canada, calling for progressive action on aboriginal and land treaty issues. On Twitter, hashtags associated with the movement, such as #idlenomore and #nativewinter, are gaining in popularity. The movement’s new website (www.idlenomore.ca) carries refreshing content by leading Aboriginal thinkers, including Dr. Pamela D. Palmater, a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick.

“Idle No More “calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth.”

AND THE MANIFESTO:

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.

We contend that:
Canada has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by using the land and resources. Canadian mining, logging, oil and fishing companies are the most powerful in the world due to land and resources. Some of the poorest First Nations communities (such as Attawapiskat) have mines or other developments on their land but do not get a share of the profit. The taking of resources has left many lands and waters poisoned – the animals and plants are dying in many areas in Canada. We cannot live without the land and water. We have laws older than this colonial government about how to live with the land.

We contend that:
Currently, this government is trying to pass many laws so that reserve lands can also be bought and sold by big companies to get profit from resources. They are promising to share this time…Why would these promises be different from past promises? We will be left with nothing but poisoned water, land and air. This is an attempt to take away sovereignty and the inherent right to land and resources from First Nations peoples.

We contend that:
There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well. We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them.

Please join us in creating this vision.

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 Idle No More Movements Manifesto
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Obert Madondo

Publisher, Editor at The Canadian Progressive
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based activist and progressive political blogger. He's the founder and publisher of The Canadian Progressive, a hard-hitting, provocative, unapologetic, activism-oriented political blog.
 Idle No More Movements Manifesto
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