The scene painted by the hundreds who gather for the Idle No More rallies In Ladysmith, Duncan, Nanaimo and across the country pack undeniable power.
So it would be unfortunate if that power is allowed to fade like some emotional scene in last month’s movie as the media gaze moves on to the next issue of the day.
Protecting the land. Protecting the water. Providing the education and employment opportunities for people to lift themselves out of poverty. These are issues central not just to First Nations people, but to Canadians in general.
And few among us would disagree these are things we would like to see enshrined as guiding principles for our nation.
That said, few among us would disagree these are principles that existed, or at least should have existed, long before Chief Theresa Spence and Attawapiskat entered the national consciousness.
And that is what concerns us.
We seem to have energy to stand up and demand change. But we question our stamina and our ability to follow through, to bring about that change.
Marches, signs and sweeping statements are a great way to attract attention. But they need to be followed with pinpoint demands, plans of action, transparency in implementation and accountability at the end of the process.
And ultimately, the engine for making that happen is the voter.
“Be the change you want to see” is a cliche because it is true. Take charge of yourself and your community and keep plugging away until the changes you want occur.
If you support the goals of Idle No More, don’t be idle no more for just a little while. Pay attention to the final two words.
Be idle no more.
— Cowichan News Leader Pictorial