The #IdleNoMore movement isn't another Occupy Wall Street
Right-wing blowhard Ezra Levant, the pusher of that "ethical oil" nonsense, is just one of the media commentators attempting to dismiss the Idle No More movement as nothing more than a rudderless Occupy Wall Street clone.
"#IdleNoMore is just Occupy rebooted. Vague in message, Marxist in philosophy, low-level criminality, and funded by the Left," Levant tweeted last night (January 3) at a Maclean’s journalist.
This is a load of BS, as Pam Palmater could tell you. The Mi’kmaq lawyer is an associate professor and the chair in indigenous governance at Ryerson University, as well as a former candidate for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations. She's also been acting as a spokesperson for the founders of the Idle No More movement.
Palmater posted yesterday an informative piece titled "What is the Idle No More Movement ... Really?" on her blog. In it, she wrote:
This movement is set apart from any other before it. Unlike the Occupy movement, this movement involves peoples with a shared histories, experiences, goals and aspirations. We as Indigenous peoples are all related, we all care about each other's futures and we share the same responsibility to protect our rights, cultures and identities for our seventh generation. This movement also has a special spiritual significance in that this was prophesied - that the seventh generation would rise and restore the strength of our Nations, bring balance and see that justice was restored to our peoples.
This movement is also unique in that it includes Canadians as our allies. Just as the early days of contact when the settlers needed our help to survive the harsh winter months, and seek out a new life here, Canadians once again need our help. They need our help to stop Harper's destructive environmental agenda. First Nations represent Canadians last best hope at stopping Harper from unfettered mass destruction of our shared lands, waters, plants and animals in the name of resource development for export to foreign countries like China. Why? Because only First Nations have constitutionally protected Aboriginal and treaty rights which mandate Canada to obtain the consent of First Nations prior to acting. These rights are also protected at the international level with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In response to many questions about the movement's demands, Palmater explains:
(1) In the short term, Canada must withdraw the suite of legislation impacting First Nations, amend those omnibus bills which threaten our lands and waters, and restore the funding that was cut to our First Nation advocacy organizations and communities;
(2) In the long term, Canada must set up a Nation to Nation process whereby First Nations and Canada can address many of the long outstanding issues related to the implementation of treaties and sharing the lands and resources.