Now is the time to be idle no more

Dawn Thompson of Nanaimo tells us why she has joined the Idle No More movement.

Editor:

I have joined the Idle No More movement, and here is why:

The continued oppression of aboriginal peoples affects all Canadians in a negative way, today more than ever.

We have a federal government that is steadily and stealthily circumventing democratic processes (see, for example, www.ipolitics.ca/2012/09/08/1984-in-2012-the-assault-on-reason-speech/) and selling Canada to the highest bidder.

It’s no longer just about First Nations sovereignty, but Canadian sovereignty: control of our water, other resources and our environment.

It seems more and more as if First Nations, through the treaty processes, are the only ones who may have the legal recourse to stop Harper, at least before 2015.

Here in Nanaimo, the Port Authority recently announced that it is leasing our harbour to an American developer for 30 years. There was no public consultation, nor did they consult with the local Snuneymuxw people. The developer plans to build a luxury marina that will very likely displace local fishing boats and those who live on the island in our harbour. It will radically change our harbour, and because of omnibus Bill C-38, it will require no environmental review.

At a recent meeting of opponents to the development, the presence of the Snuneymuxw, who just might have a chance, through the Douglas Treaty, to stop it, seemed to offer a glimmer of hope.

In alliance with the Idle No More movement, non-native Canadians who do not share Harper’s vision of Canada might work towards the repeal of the omnibus bills; First Nations consultation on free trade agreements that would allow Canada to retain some control over its resources; and protection of Canadian waters from the potential devastation of projects such as Northern Gateway and hydraulic fracturing used in the production of natural gas.

The mainstream media tends to focus more on Chief Spence, the AFN, and the prime minister than on the Idle No More movement. But Idle No More is where the connection between the interests of aboriginal and non-native Canadians can be found.

To extrapolate from Paul Hawken’s argument in Blessed Unrest, we are at a point in history where the interests of Indigenous peoples, environmentalists and those in the social justice movements — and I would add the Occupy movement and all Canadians who care about this land — have the potential to form an alliance that might really effect change.

I have for years tried to be an ally to aboriginal peoples in Canada, but in the past, my efforts have been mostly as an educator, rather than an activist. However, now is the time for me, and I hope other Canadians as well, to be idle no more.

Dawn Thompson

Nanaimo

Just Posted

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Cowichan in national spotlight with Hometown Hockey

Rogers Hometown Hockey is a two-day festival that culminates with a national broadcast Sunday

VIDEO: World-renowned urban planner encourages Cowichan Valley to ‘benchmark with the best’

CVRD welcomes Gil Penalosa, founder and chair of 8 80 Cities, as part of Place-Making Speaker Series

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP member poses as construction worker to catch distracted motorists

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are taking action on distract driving this year and… Continue reading

VIU’s Cowichan campus promotes mental health awareness with new bench

Friendship Benchs visible at schools across the country

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

UPDATE: City of Nanaimo senior manager dismissed

Chief operations officer Brad McRae no longer employed by the city

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Most Read