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Press Release Idle No More

Press Release Idle No More

Idle No More began with 4 women, Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon, sharing a vision of bringing together all people to ensure we create ways of protecting Mother Earth, her lands, waters and people.  The women began discussing the possible impacts that some of the legislation would carry if people do not do something.  It became very evident that the women  MUST do something about the colonial, unilateral and paternalistic legislation being pushed through the Government of Canada’s parliamentary system.  They began with a piece of legislation called Bill C-45 which attacked the land base reserved for Indigenous people.
The women decided that they would call a rally to inform the public that this bill intended to, without consent give the minister of indian affairs power to surrender the lands reserved.  They felt that this would ultimately make room for oil, nuclear and gas industries to tear up the land for profit.  From this rally they also informed the public on other legislation that affected and ignored the treaties made with the crown but also the waters, land and people that it would impact in very harmful ways.
The women then helped other communities to coordinate efforts to hold similar rallies with the same goal in mind - Stand up and speak up against undemocratic and internationally illegal government acts.  These rallies took place all across the country.
The women seen that there were many other communities that needed to come together in an act solidarity and resurgence to assert their inherent rights as a sovereign Nation, thus The National Day of Solidarity and Resurgence was called for December 10, 2012.  This was an enormous event that never in history seen many nations and diverse groups of people come together.  These events and acts have continued to grow and from the talk of grassroots has no intention of slowing down.  The group called Idle No More have witnessed these events spreading out internationally within the united states as well as the United Kingdom sharing in helping to support our cause of opposing the government’s actions as well as support to asserting our Nationhood.

The women will continue and remain in a position to have the grassroots voices be heard by;

  • Supporting and encouraging grassroots to create their own forums to learn more about Indigenous rights and our responsibilities to our Nationhood via teach-ins, rallies and social media.
  • Build relationships and create understanding with allies across Canada.
  • Take steps to contribute to building relationships with international agencies such as the UN to raise awareness to the conditions Indigenous people have been subjected to and assert our sovereignty in the international arena.
  • Acknowledge and honor the hard work of all grassroots people who have worked, and continue to work towards these goals.  They are the inspiration for IDLE NO MORE


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. On December 10th,  Indigenous people and allies stood in solidarity across Canada to assert Indigenous  sovereignty and begin the work towards sustainable, renewable development. All  people will be affected by the continued damage to the land and water and we welcome Indigenous and non-Indigenous allies to join in creating healthy sustainable communities. We encourage youth to become engaged in this movement as you are the leaders of our future. There have always been individuals and groups who have been working towards these goals – Idle No More seeks to create solidarity and further support these goals. We recognize that there may be backlash, and encourage people to stay strong and united in spirit.

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 o...
f 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.

Response to Legislation

Idle No More calls on all people to continue to oppose and reject all  imposed legislation originating from the federal government.  The unilateral imposition of these Bills is in direct violation of the Treaties and the Treaty relationship that the Original peoples of Turtle Island made with the British Crown.  Indigenous peoples and nations have not been consulted and therefore, the actions taken by the federal government does not reflect the international standard of Free Prior and Informed consent.  The continued imposition of federal legislation on Indigenous peoples and governments’ is not in line with the legal principles of “acting in good faith” and maintaining the “honour of the Crown”.  There are many nations taking action(s) to reflect acts of Indigenous nationhood, sovereignty and jurisdiction in response to the passing of  legislation such as Bill C-45 and we must continue on this path.  When we stand strong and believe in our ways and assert acts of Nationhood, it does not matter what amount of legislation the federal government introduces or passes because it is not with our consent and therefore, is not applicable.  Stand strong and believe in the spirit and intent of our Treaties as that’s what our ancestors are calling us to do.    
We must continue to assert acts of nationhood premised on ancient ways and teachings that were given to us in our original instructions by Creator when we were placed here on Turtle Island.  We encourage people to advocate for our Mother (the land), the Water (giver of life) and those generations that have yet to come.  We must keep that warrior spirit alive and continue the advocacy efforts as there are other Bills in parliament and our energies must be directed towards fighting against them.  We will continue to rise up and make our presence known across Turtle Island, the land that is rightfully ours as Creator put us here. Stand Up and Rise UP - this Fight is NOT Over. We need you all in this - we shall PERSEVERE!


  1. Treaty 8 Chiefs Speak Out Against Bill C-45

    December 14, 2012

    Canada recently passed new legislation, Bill C-45, the omnibus budget bill, that will make changes to the Indian Act. These new unilateral changes were done so under extreme opposition by First Nation leadership across the country. This new legislation will affect First Nations across Canada and was done without proper consultation or participation from Treaty First Nations.

    Some Chiefs in Treaty 8 have a very strong response for the Government of Canada and have released press statements refusing to recognize this law. These statements describe that their Nations will not recognize any law that has passed without First Nation Consent and that any law that affects their Nations without their involvement will not apply on their lands.

    Click below to view the press releases:

    Swan River First Nation

    Bigstone Cree Nation

    Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation

    Mikisew Cree First Nation

    Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation

  2. Thank GOD for you ,yes ! it is time....i have made some calls,where other brother,s and sisters can be informed for this edmonton gathering on the 21st friday.10.30 am ~3pm. THank you .

  3. On the West coast of what is now called Canada this cyber village is gaining strength. I will spread the word as best I can that Idle No More is wort investigating.

  4. Today I sent this url and info about Idle No More to CNN and to NPR in the states, hoping they will report.

    Your work is so important!!!!

  5. I stand with you, here on Coast Salish territory...

    Literally sickened by the gross capital tsunami of corruption, as stoked and sponsored by certain corporations and all governments. They are with seeming impunity ravaging our inner and outer environments, all in the name of some fantastically absurd version of a global economy.

    In this place they call Victoria I see there is still no representation on your roster for the "Idle No More" movement. Perhaps I could promote your manifesto at upcoming social justice forums and initiatives? Or if there is some other way I might be of service? I am handy with media, and I'd be happy to help. Please contact me:

    Blessings to Chief Theresa Spence.
    You are on the right track.
    Keep up!

  6. The Law of Exceptions - NAFTA and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Open letter to the Ministers of State and Public Constituencies of Canada-US-Mexico

  7. It is sad what the government or any other high power of organization that said they would protect us and our lands. Now they want no they are taking back what they already gave and not doing what they said they would do. I stand with you

  8. I recently had the honour of spending three days outside Chief Theresa Spence's teepeee, and of meeting with her briefly to thank her for what she's doing. I also had the privilege of giving her a gift of some caribou hide from a hunt I made in Newfoundland. When I handed it to her, she exclaimed, A caribou hunter! And the women in the teepee with her laughed joyfully at the thought, I suppose, of me, a white woman, hunting a caribou. Then the chief said, I'm proud of you. And she held my hands. Even at this late hour of her hunger strike, she had the love and generosity to tell me that she was proud of me. This is what I encountered on Victoria Island, nothing but respect and generous hospitality. I was so moved by the atmosphere of peace and dignity. The people supporting Chief Spence - the men protecting the camp, the women praying for her, the elders drumming and singing in support of her, all the people who brought food and donations of clothes and blankets, the men chopping wood, the firekeepers keeping the fire going - among all these people there was strength and a readiness to laugh, but also a deep seriousness when the time called for being serious. Now is the time for us white folks to keep quiet. It is our time to listen, and learn, about awe and the sacred, about ritual and responsibility and courage and sacrifice. These are things we lack as a society and why it is so hard for us to grow up and mature into human beings. The guilt and embarrassment we feel about this often makes us defensive and puts us on the attack. What we lose when we take this position is all the healing the First Nations of Canada, and all aboriginal peoples around the world, have to offer us: the secrets to living in balance with nature and ourselves. No one knows better how to share than aboriginal communities. Chief Spence's demands are not unreasonable. She is tired of ineffectual bureacracy, of incompetant leadership, of lies and betrayals that never get accounted for. In this, she is not alone. She is on the side of, among other things, The Occupy Movement. The supporters of Idle No More are only asking that First Nations people be given control over the lands and jurisdictions they were originally promised, not in order to exploit it, but to look after it. I pray that Harper can one day overcome the narrow focus of his egotistical superiority, which is only the flip side of his own self-hatred, and see the wisdom in what Chief Spence is saying with this self-sacrificing, gentle, individual act of protest. Please let her have her way on this. It benefits us all. - Christine Pountney


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