EXPRESSIONS OF SUPPORT
United Church of Canada – Letter to Stephen Harper in support of Chief Spence
The Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union calling on the federal government to meet with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence immediately
APTN – Sarnia rail blockade enters fourth day, police have no intention of shutting it down: Mayor
As members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation enter their fourth day of blocking a railway line running through their reserve in Sarnia, Ont., the mayor of the city is now questioning why Prime Minister Stephen Harper won’t just meet with First Nation leaders, the main demand of the protesters.
Canadian Artists Statement of Solidarity with Idle No More (Facebook only)
We, the undersigned Canadian writers, filmmakers, dancers, musicians, and artists call on all Canadians to join us in unequivocally supporting the demands and actions of the First Nations’ Idle No More movement for healthy, just, equitable, and sustainable communities….
We also call on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with First Nations peoples and their representatives in the intended spirit of the original Treaties, as sovereign nations. We agree with Idle No More’s contention that recent legislation proposed and passed by the Canadian Government, including Bill C-45, violates those sacred and sovereign Treaties.
We encourage all Canadians to visit http://www.idlenomore1.blogspot.ca/ to learn how they can support Idle No More in their communities.
Signed, by OVER 140 artists as of Dec. 24, 2012
NEWS AND OPINION
Toronto Star – Why ‘Idle No More’ is gaining strength, and why all Canadians should care
(A MUST READ)
First, it is a matter of social and environmental justice. When corporate profit is privileged over the health of our lands and waters, we all suffer. When government stifles debate, democracy is diminished. Bill C-45 is just the latest in a slew of legislation that undermines Canadians’ rights. In standing against it, the First Nations are standing for us too.
Second, as Justice Linden of the Ipperwash Inquiry said, “we are all treaty people.” When our governments unilaterally impose legislation on the First Nations, they dishonour the Crown, they dishonour us, and they dishonour our treaty relationship. We are responsible for ensuring that our governments fulfill their commitments. If our governments do not respect Indigenous and treaty rights, then the very legitimacy of the Canadian state — and thus of all our citizenship rights — is in doubt. That’s what Idle No More is about.
ipolitics (Michael Harris) – Why is Stephen Harper afraid to look this woman in the eye?
(It looks like a lot of people would agree with me that this is a good read: nearly 2000 Likes and over 650 Tweets in less than 48 hours.)
After nearly two weeks without food, Chief Theresa Spence is finding out that there is nothing in an alleged democracy as ugly as oligarchy.
In a democracy, the political leadership is responsible to the people. In an oligarchy, it is responsible to the few — the elite who own most of the assets and wield the real power.
In this interview, Chief Spence, she says “We are demanding peace and a good relationship. That was the intent of the treaty, honour, respect to to build a future together.” Isn’t that exactly what is lacking in Harper’s behaviour towards all Canadians, including opposition members of Parliament, the PBO, the AG and the provincial premiers!!! She goes on to talk about a Chief’s duty and says that it is to stand with the people, with the grassroots. This is a deeply democratic statement and in complete contrast to Harper’s top down autocratic dictatorship style.
She also reaches out to all Canadians “Canadian citizens are willing to work with us its just the government level that really been ignorant and dishonour and disrespecting the treaty relationship.” When I visited her camp 2 of her attendants told me that she really wants people to know that she is doing this for all people.
Montreal Gazette – Reluctant leader Theresa Spence inspires a nation
(An excellent personal portrait of Chief Spence.)
But it was the way Spence handled the fallout from Attwapiskat’s now-infamous housing crisis that truly impressed Angus. In October 2011, Spence declared a state of emergency in on the reserve after squalid living conditions forced over two-dozen families to live in emergency shelters—many without plumbing or insulation.
In the end Spence took Ottawa to court and avoided having her town’s finances managed by an outsider. A review of the audited financial statements documenting Spence’s two terms as chief found that they had all been reviewed and approved by the federal government.
CBC – Monitoring of First Nations beefed up in ’06: documents
The federal government stepped up surveillance of First Nations across Canada shortly after the 2006 election to better monitor political action such as protests over land claims, according to internal Indian Affairs and RCMP documents obtained by a Mohawk policy analyst.
National Post – The real math behind Attawapiskat’s $90 million
Prime Minister Harper is apparently scratching his head about where $90 million in federal funding to Attawapiskat has gone. There is much talk about lack of accountability, and no one knowing what happened to the money. Let’s start with some simple math.
First, $90 million is a deceptive number. It refers to federal funding received since Harper’s government came into power in 2006. In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Attawapiskat received $17.6 million in federal funds (PDF). The document linked to shows the breakdown of federal funds in case you wanted to know how much is allocated to things like medical transportation, education, maternal health care and so on.
Aihtawikosisan.com – Canada, it’s time. We need to fix this in our generation
I’ve compiled a list of stereotypes and lies that I think need to stop being spread and passed around as truth. Where possible, I’ve linked information to help dispel these harmful myths. I’d like to call this list the “READ A BOOK!” list, because I know that a lot of us want to scream this when we read those hateful comments saying these things over, and over again.
Here are some of my Read A Book list of things Canadians absolutely need to stop believing about us:
ipolitics (Michael Harris) – Hollow talk, half-lies: how Harper deals with First Nations
For Harper, the official apology recently offered to Canada’s aboriginal peoples in front of the cameras with full pomp and circumstance is likely to be the whole deal. If this politician can get away with mere words on things he doesn’t really care about, he will….. All too many Canadians seem to have bought into the notion that natives in this country all get free skidoos and live lives that are just one big, extended hunting and fishing trip. Reality check. Back when Donald Marshall Jr. was railroaded for a murder he didn’t commit, his “trial” lasted one day. A murder trial.
CBC (Waubgeshig Rice) A peoples’ movement that is Idle No More
Its pictures and messages have gone viral in a spirit of solidarity that is probably not unlike the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street movements. Frustrated with a lack of consultation on treaty problems and seemingly unilateral federal government decisions on natural resources and the environment, indigenous peoples are suddenly saying they will no longer sit idly by while these things are being pushed through.
rabble.ca (Naomi Klein) – Idle No More: Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger speaks to all of us
During this season of light and magic, something truly magical is spreading. There are round dances by the dollar stores. There are drums drowning out muzak in shopping malls. There are eagle feathers upstaging the fake Santas.
Flash mob at the Eaton Centre in Calgary – Watch the round dance spontaneously grow to double and even triple circles and on 2 levels of the mall. Uplifting, inspiring!