Idle No More spreading beyond Canada’s borders

Idle No More spreading beyond Canada’s borders

First Nations activists in Washington, D.C., to give interviews to American media

By: The Canadian Press
Posted: Jan 1, 2013 5:36 PM ET
Last Updated: Jan 1, 2013 8:54 PM ET

Alex Rogers wears a grass dance headdress near a railway blockade line in Sarnia, Ont. last month. The Idle No More movement has spread as far afield as Texas and New Zealand.
Alex Rogers wears a grass dance headdress near a railway blockade line in Sarnia, Ont. last month. The Idle No More movement has spread as far afield as Texas and New Zealand. (Dave Chidley/Canadian Press)

The aboriginal movement known as Idle No More continued to gain strength beyond Canada’s borders on Tuesday as activists embarked on a public relations blitz in the United States.

Pamela Palmater, one of the leaders of the movement, travelled to Washington, D.C. to give interviews to the U.S. media. She said the goal of the media campaign was to raise awareness internationally and force Prime Minister Stephen Harper to act.

“The idea is to put pressure on the Canadian government to pay attention and come to the table,” Palmater said by phone. “I was invited to come down and do some media about Idle No More, basically answer questions about why it’s spreading into the United States.”

In addition to recent events held across Canada, rallies have already been staged as far off as Texas, Hawaii and New Zealand with plans for more in the coming days.

‘Idle No More feels that any acts that are not in line with peace and solidarity only detract attention from our ultimate mission.’—Idle No More official statement

Palmater said Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike, now in its fourth week, is part of a much larger protest movement.

The initial spark was the federal government’s omnibus budget legislation but it has now become about broader issues like inequality and treaty rights, she said.

Palmater noted an evolution in the form protests have taken over the past few weeks, toward increased civil disobedience.

“We did letter writing and phone calls and trying to talk to MPs and, you know, we took that route and it didn’t work,” she said. “Then we had to move up to peaceful marches and rallies, and that didn’t work. So now we’re doing all these flash mob round dances, which are more about working hand in hand with Canadians and also keeping the focus on the media. But now you see blockades.”

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One thought on “Idle No More spreading beyond Canada’s borders”

  1. You’ve Inspired A Nation
    via: MVirtueProductions Dec 27, 2012

    A short film dedicated to Attiwapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. CN Rail files legal notice on those manning a blockade on the Aamjiwnaang First Nation. (3 min. 50 sec.)

    Camera/Editing: Monica Virtue

    Copyright: Monica Virtue Productions (London, Ontario, Canada)

    The Harper government is currently putting through 8 Bills that violate treaties and are meant to destroy and assimilate First Nations. For more information please read:

    For further information from Dr. Pamela Palmater please watch:


    Idle No More Round Dance Close To The Blue Water Bridge – Sarnia, Ont – Jan 5th 2013
    via: coco72inlondon Jan 5, 2013

    Idle No More Supporters Round Dance For a Few Minutes Before Going On To Blockade The Blue Water Bridge In Sarnia, Ontario(Canada-US Border) For Over An Hour On Saturday, January 5th 2013.


    idle no more LONDON
    via: IdleNoMoreLondon London Dec 21, 2012

    Statement from Deepa Naik – Idle No More London 21 Dec 2012 –
    Photos: Outside Buckingham Palace – London, UK

    Idle No More London is gathered here today to resist the expansionist and assimilation plans of the Canadian government. In lands that have been colonised the fastest and sharpest way to significantly change everyone’s life is by further undermining the First Nations cultures, laws, family relations, land and waters.

    We are gathered here – within ear shot of the Crown’s London residence – to acknowledge the ongoing relationship between colonialism and the Government of Canada’s attempts to push through legislation that seeks to rip up the treaties first signed with the Crown.

    If Bill C45- (and others) are given Royal assent by the Crowns representative, this colonial, unilateral and paternalistic legislation would open the way for corporations in the oil, nuclear and gas industries to tear up First Nations land for profit.

    Idle No More London sends its solidarity to all the people taking part in actions across Canada – and the world. Idle No More calls on people to join in a revolution that honours and fulfills indigenous sovereignty that protects the land and water.


    Idle No More Solidarity Rally – Tromsø, Norway December 28, 2012.
    via: Bjørn Joachimsen Dec 28, 2012

    Kjerstin Uhre speaks at the Idle No More Solidarity Rally in Tromsø, December 28, 2012. #IdleNoMore.

    The solidarity rally in Tromsø 28.12.12 aims to spread the news in Norway about Idle No More and the issues the movement are addressing. We also want to express our support to everybody that is taking part in Idle No More events in Canada and cross the world and to Chief Theresa Spence on her 18th day in hunger strike.

    Speech by Kjerstin Uhre:

    Idle No More is a grassroots movement that engages worldwide. Its addressing core issues that concern us all. Strong driving forces are changing our globalized world. The geologists claim that we have altered the skin of the earth and the atmosphere so much that we have entered the anthropocene — the geological epoch of the humans. But we are also in the epoch of global exchange. In the global conversation a new opportunity to regain agency, recuperate, and share social energy is unfolding.

    The First Nations of Canada proclaimed a few weeks ago that they would idle no more; they would no longer be passive towards socially unjust and environmentally destructive politics.

    Four women from Saskatchewan started it all by naming the action needed: Idle No More! In their comments on social media, they consistently used the hash tag #IdleNoMore when criticizing the Harper Governments legislative changes that were ruled through without consent from the First Nations.

    It is a reaction to a policy that provides for an acceleration of retrieving resources from the territories. A reaction against an amendment, Bill C-45, that overnight abolished the protection of 8000 rivers and over 2 million lakes and removed the clause to consult local tribes before the sale of public land. It is a reaction towards a policy that is not beneficial sharing. The wealth derived from the resources in the territories is not used to improve the living conditions of the indigenous people.

    Idle No More have during two weeks triggered over a hundred rallies, round dances and blockades across Canada with broad support from the Canadian population. And it is continuing. Spreading on social media has started a relay of solidarity events around the globe, Including Cairo, London and Stockholm. Declarations of support have been sent from all corners of the world, From Australia, from Palestine, Colombia and New Zeeland.

    In an era of climate change and increased pressure on natural resources, many journalists, writers and others have expressed gratitude to the Idle No More activists to so clearly set on the agenda the importance of vigorous nature- and ecosystems.

    Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat tribe has been in a hunger strike for 18 days, today, in a tipi on Victoria Island outside the Parliament building. We send to her a greeting from island to island, from the Tromsø Island to Victoria Island. We support her claim of meeting the Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper and the Queen’s representative. We support the requirement that they must sit down with the leaders of First Nations to develop a renewed treaty agreement that ensure that indigenous rights are not violated.

    18 days is a long time for a hunger strike, Chief Theresa Spence has said that she is willing to die for her people. It is urgent. We encourage Norwegian and Sami politicians to engage with the Issues that the Idle No More movement is addressing, and we encourage the Arctic Council’s secretariat in Tromsø to address this as well.

    From citizens of Tromsø/ Romsa: We stand with you, Idle No More!


    Idle No More Navajo Nation Flash Mob Shiprock, NM
    via: Wood1211 Dec 21, 2012

    Navajo Nation Supports You Canada!


    In Solidarity…This is for you IdleNoMore
    via: Tookie-Ann O’Collins Dec 21, 2012

    In LOVE, thank you for sharing this moment in time….In our sharing we are able to find our own truths and freedoms and that is beautiful my friends….

    In support of Solidarity check out the following….spread the word!!!!

    Come On….GET UP STAND UP!!!!!


    IDLE NO MORE Farmington New Mexico 12-26-12
    via: MrMBPromotions Dec 27, 2012

    Navajo Nation showing support to our brothers and sister up North in Canada and around the Globe!


    Idle No More – Saints Are Coming – Inspirational Video – December 21, 2012 – World Wide Revolution
    via: Dallas Courchene Dec 21, 2012

    December 21, 2012, thousands of people around the world gathered together for the planet’s last stand


    Idle No More Los Angeles
    via: DigitalNdn Dec 22, 2012

    Footage from the “Idle No More” Rally held in front of the Canadian Embassy in Los ANgeles. TO stand in solidarity with our Canadian and indigenous relations throughout the world. With special apperances by native celebrities Red Cloud, Crystle Lightning, Sam Bear Paw, Adam Beach, and Drum Group Red Hand Singers with Hoop Dancer Sage Romero.

    Like the movement on facebook here:!/IdleNoMoreCommunity


    Idle No More Round Dance Mall of America
    via: izigim Dec 29, 2012

    Minnesota in Support of Chief Theresa Spence!


    Idle No More
    via: rockpaperjet Jan 2, 2013


    “Idle No More” is a worldwide indigenous movement started by the First Nation Tribes of Canada as a way to help protect the Constitutional Treaty Rights of the Indian Act. These rights are being threatened by the proposed C-45 Bill. The Bill will significantly decrease tribal leader and community control over decisions related to the land and water use on Indian Reserve lands, the tribal peoples of Canada will have little to no control over how corporations make use of untapped natural resources, specifically on indigenous territory protected under Sovereignty treaties.

    Attawapiska Chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike on Dec. 11, 2012. She is asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to attend a discussion regarding the Bill and treaty rights. Harper has yet to respond. Spence is willing to die for her people’s rights.

    This film documents one of the many events worldwide in support of the Idle No More movement. This event was held in Seattle Washington De. 29, 2012.

    The film was Directed by Dave Wilson (Brother Ali, Frank Ocean, Atmosphere, Yelawolf, Evidence), Produced by Tulalip tribal member and independent recording artist Brodie Stevens “Redskin” with footage by cameraman Ben Hampton. The film is narrated by author Gyasi Ross and elder Ramona Bennett. The gathering was organized by Lawerence Miguel and James Ole Coyote Sacred Water. Additional music by “Redskin.”



    No more idle Texas
    via: DjKamasutrax Jan 3, 2013

    No more idle Austin


    Idle No More: Indigenous-Led Protests Sweep Canada for Native Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
    via: democracynow Dec 26, 2012 – A new campaign for indigenous rights and environmental justice is spreading across Canada. The “Idle No More” movement began as a series of protests against a controversial government budget bill, but has since expanded into a nationwide movement for political transformation. Aboriginal and environmental activists are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to honor treaties with aborigines; open dialogue with environmentalists; and reject tar sands pipelines that would infiltrate First Nation territories. We go to Toronto to speak with Pamela Palmater, Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University and spokeswoman for the “Idle No More” movement. “We, First Nations people, have been subsidizing the wealth and prosperity and programs and services of Canadians from our land and resources,” Palmater says. “And that’s the reality here that most people don’t understand.”

    To watch the entire weekday independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, search our vast archive, or to find more information about Democracy Now! and Amy Goodman, visit

    Democracy Now!, an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,100+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday.

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    Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit


    Round Dance Flash Mob, SLC Utah
    via: nnworoloc Dec 28, 2012

    Round Dance Flash Mob in Salt Lake City, Utah outside the Gateway Mall in support of Idle No More. December 2012.


    idle no more Playlist by SilverOnFDF
    21 videos | 2:29:29 duration


    The Heartbeat of-Idle No More by N.M. Hansen
    200 videos | 20:30:21 duration

    Remember We Stood Up For Love Inspite Of The Hate! We are one Nation under the Sun,Born of Earth,Her Heartbeat Now Rings Out.The Peoples Of The Earth Have Answered The Call. Understand,Treaty rights are all our rights,if they do this with our treaties,what will they do with yours? We Stand Strong, One Heartbeat,for All Creation!


    “Idle No More” means I Don’t Know for Most Non Aboriginal Canadians
    via: Doug Brinkman Jan 1, 2013

    YouTube Report by Doug Brinkman

    January 1, 2013 – Commentary by Doug Brinkman
    “Idle No More” means “I Don’t Know” for Most Non Aboriginal Canadians

    “I don’t know” is what most Canadians are going to say when asked about last months’s nation wide protests, rallies, mall round dances, road, rail blockades and 21 day hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence of the “Idle No More” movement.

    There’s been tons and tons of energy spent by this movement’s aboriginal people to get the attention of Prime Minister Harper and his majority government to re-address their omnibus bill C45 that infringes upon not only treaty rights of Canada’s first nations people but on environmental issues that affect all Canadians.

    Non aboriginals, Occupy Canada, unions and opposition governments have joined in the fight in supporting the “Idle No More” movement and even corporate media have reported on this story with meager back page news stories and the odd critical commentary by the mostly conservative (bully) newspapers.

    So why do non aboriginal Canadians not know what is going on? On the world stage Canadian history is indeed unfolding before our eyes, yet for the most part local theatres across the nation remain empty cause of lack of promotion! As a former public relations director of Walterdale Playhouse Theatre I can tell you first hand this is a disaster for the many aboriginals who are working so hard to be heard.

    In my opinion as one non aboriginal, it is the lack of or no information and education coming from Kanata’s First Nations People. We see your protests, but no one has a clue why.

    Turtle Island’s aboriginal people are not teaching us non aboriginals why this “Idle No More” is so important to them or why its important to ALL CANADIANS. It would not hurt to borrow some of that enormous protest energy, get out there and meet some non aboriginal people at farmers markets, street corners, outside sporting events…, and explain to us what this “Idle No More” movement is all about .

    Have you heard the expression “Don’t Hate The media, Be The Media?”

    Would it be any trouble to borrow from the hundreds of passionate “Idle No More” pool of activists across the nation to at least find a few committed in each town, city and community to take a few hours of their time once or maybe twice a week and explain why this “Idle No More” is important to Canadians?

    If your like most who wait for a politically conservative (bully) corporate media to inform Canadians why “Idle No More” is so very important then perhaps you’d be interested in buying some cheap ocean front property I’ve got for sale down in Montana …

    Joking aside – we non aboriginals want to understand, help us understand why this “Idle No More” is so important for you, why it is so important for all Canadians.

    In solidarity…
    Doug Brinkman


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