Idle No More protests are continuing in communities across Canada a day after First Nations chiefs held a “working meeting” with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa. Regarding the first meeting, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo, said that the meeting accomplished “some movement” and that Harper, “for the first time, provided a clear mandate for high-level talks on treaty implementation.”
The Idle No More Movement began in November and is a protest mostly against Bill C-45. This is the Harper government’s omnibus bill that proposes changes to the Navigable Protection Act and the Indian Act. There are fears that the omnibus bill will breach aboriginal treaty rights.
Saturday’s protests included small demonstrations in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, demonstrations by Latino-Canadians in front of West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, and a rally on Highway 1 at the Northwest Territories/Alberta border in Hay River, Northwest Territories. Meanwhile, there are many future events planned for the movement. Organizers are calling for an Idle No More World Day of Action on January 28th, when Members of Parliament will return to the House of Commons.
Some prominent Canadians are also showing their support by rejecting and returning their Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medals to Governor General David Johnston. These include writer-activist Naomi Klein and singers Sarah Slean and Maude Barlow.
Another leading figure of the movement is Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. Spence has vowed to continue her liquid-only diet until she gets a joint meeting with Harper and the Governor General. Spence has not eaten solid food since December 11th.
For the full article from CBC: