Idle No More Gains Worldwide Support

Published on
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Common Dreams

Idle No More Gains Worldwide Support

'There has been a global assault on indigenous sovereignty'

by
Beth Brogan, staff writer

As global support for the Idle No More movement grows, a Maori women's group in New Zealand held a rally on Dec. 28, calling for an end to "a global assault on indigenous sovereignty." (Photo courtesy the New Zealand Herald)

The Idle No More movement continues to garner support in the United States and countries as far away as New Zealand as Attiwapiskat Chief Theresa Spence continues her plea to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

A Maori women's group held a rally on Dec. 28, calling for mobilized action, the New Zealand Herald reports.

"We feel there has been a global assault on indigenous sovereignty," said Marama Davidson, spokeswoman for the Auckland-based Maori women's collective Te Wharepora Hou. "This is the global call we've been waiting for. Now, we can join together and start looking at solutions."

Spence, chief of the Northern Ontario First Nations, is now in her fourth week of a hunger strike as she demands to meet with Harper to discuss First Nations issues including the protection of First Nations treaty rights. During that time, she has subsisted on only fish broth and medicinal tea.

Rallies have continued throughout Canada, and into the United States, where thousands of supporters have held peaceful marches and rallies, flash mob round dances and—on Sunday evening— blocked trains, carrying 2,500 passengers, between Montreal and Toronto on Sunday.

Thousands attended an "Idle No More Flash Roundy" on Saturday at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities Daily Planet reports. Two days later, a similar protest, reportedly attended by hundreds, was held at a Walmart inn Cloquet, Minnesota.

"When I found out that C-45 had passed, and what it meant for Canadian Indians, I knew I had to do something,” Mesha Camp, who organized the protest at the Mall of America, said. “Down here, our land can’t be sold. They [the Canadian legislators] made it legal to come in and take those lands, making them unsovereign nations. They’re saying if you don’t give up sovereignty, we won’t abide by the treaties.”

Allene Ross, a Dakota from Minnesota, told the Twin Cities Daily Planet that it is important "for all tribes to stand united. We need to defend our sovereignty rights worldwide."

About 100 demonstrators marched, carrying drums, from the Walpole Island border crossing to Algonac, Michigan, on Sunday, where they waved flags, chanted and banged on drums, then holding a ceremony in a parking lot, the Courier Press reports.

"We want all the non-native people to really listen to what the government is trying to do," said George Henry of Walpole Island. "The government has kept things pretty quiet over the years ... so we're going to tell our own story now."

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In the video below, released by Indian Country Today Media Network, 11-year-old Ta'Kaiya Blaney speaks at a Dec. 29 Idle No More protest and march:

The following video shows a Dec. 29 "flash roundy" at the Mall of America in Minneapolis:

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