For Immediate Release
Idle No More Global Day of Action, #Oct7Proclaim 55 Actions in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and across the Planet
Ottawa, Canada - Today marks the global day of action of Idle No More, the Indigenous Peoples social movement. On October 7, 1763, King George III of England signed the British Royal Proclamation, an historic document that legally mandated Canada to recognize Indigenous land rights.
Today, two hundred and fifty years later, at over 55 actions and events taking place across Canada, the United States, and in countries across the planet, thousands of Indigenous Peoples and our supporters are taking direct action to assert sovereignty and self-determination over Our Land -- Our Water -- Our Bodies -- Our Stories -- Our Future -- and to proclaim our Indigenous Sovereignty!
Today also marks the day that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, begins his official UN visit to Canada to examine the human rights situation of the Indigenous Peoples of this country.
Actions on the front lines today include the anti-fracking fight in Elsipogtog Mi'kmaq Nation in New Brunswick, Canada, where Mi'kmaq warriors have been blockading roads to protect their collective rights, lands, and water from the Houston-based, SWN Resources.
"The time has come for us to emancipate our Nations; it is time for us to assert our sovereignty. We must protect our water, and we must unite together to sever the chains of colonialism. Our fight is for the water, for our Treaties, for our Rights, and for our People. Let's unite and proclaim our right to our voices, and speak out against corporate greed and environmental genocide. We are stronger when we stand together," said Suzanne Patles of the Mi'kmaq Warriors, who are blockading in Elsipogtog First Nation.
In Victoria, British Columbia, in solidarity with Idle No More, thousands of youth participating in Powershift BC, one of Canada’s largest climate conferences, will descend on the BC Legislature to confront Premier Christy Clark and her government's ongoing attempts to allow controversial tar sands pipelines and oil tanker ports to cross this ecologically sensitive region against the will of hundreds of thousands of First Nations and BC citizens who have unequivocally said no.
"There has been no bill of sale and Indigenous people have not ceded our lands, territories, and rights to Canada. By trampling and blatantly ignoring our Indigenous rights and culture, Canada is breaking international law established in the Royal Proclamation of 1763,” said Powershift BC presenter and Sliammon First Nation youth activist, 12-year-old Ta’Kaiya Blaney. She went on to say, “The current ‘leaders’ and decision makers of Canada are denying and nonchalantly attacking our rights and therefore our future without a second thought. Being the children of a land and culture, of which we have sustained ourselves from for thousands of years, we are paying the price of industrial and human annihilation, we are suffering the consequences: We will say no more, we will be Idle No More."
Kahnawake Mohawk, Russell Diabo of Defenders of the Land said, “Canada has a long standing plan to terminate the collective Inherent, Aboriginal, and Treaty rights of First Nations. By taking advantage of First Nations poverty and maintaining the colonial Indian Act as an instrument of control, Canada seeks sign-on from First Nations to final agreements that compromise and terminate their constitutionally protected and internationally recognized land rights, Treaties, and the right to self-determination as Peoples.”
Idle No More has joined forces with Defenders of the Land and together they have developed a joint campaign with six high-level political demands of the Harper conservative government of Canada. Today's actions taking place across the globe represent the galvanizing of our political base towards manifesting traction on our political goals here in Canada and in other colonial countries across Mother Earth.
Idle No More is not an organization, but a movement, and includes hundreds of Indigenous grassroots organizers from across Turtle Island who are engaged in local resistance struggles against resource extraction corporations and the Canadian government ignoring and defying Treaty rights.