Idle No More: A profound social movement that is already succeeding

I haven’t written about Idle No More yet because I am inspired by the plethora of Indigenous voices that we are finally hearing across the country, including of late in the mainstream media.  If I learned anything from the women’s movement it is that we have to speak for ourselves not be represented by others, however well meaning and supportive.  Instead I have devoted my support for the movement to sharing the many brilliant and informative articles, the announcements and reports of events and the beautiful graphics and photos from Idle No More to my rather large soc

India's Indigenous People hold a People's Tribunal to defend natural wealth against corporate greed

Below is a statement from the Independent People's Tribunal on Land Acquisition, Resource Grab and Operation Green Hunt in India.  I reproduce it here because so many similar struggles of Indigneous peoples to defend the earth against corporate greed and government collaboration are happening here in Canada and in the Americas.

40 years later people at Grassy Narrows are still suffering mercury poisoning

The mills take from our forest, and then give us back disease and sickness and death. Our people have suffered for 40 years from mercury poisoning, and now this sickness is being passed on to our children in the womb. We must stop the mills from destroying our forests, our water, and our culture for the survival of all.'  ”  Judy Da Silva, a grassroots mother and blockader from Grassy Narrows.

Hope for Humanity: Evo Morales and the Indigenous movement triumph in Bolivian election.

In all the midst of the tremendous and welcome attention to  the climate change conference in Copenhagen little attention has been given to a miraculous development in the Global South.   Not only has Evo Morales won an overwhelming majority as President of Bolivia but his party, the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) has won 2/3 of the Senate and a strong majority in the House basically destroying the strength of the right-wing parties.

The Power of No

“We have a choice. We still have fresh water, clean air, and forests. We can still hunt and fish and trap and we will never give up the right to protect our traditional lands and our traditional way of life.” Sam McKay,  KI spokesperson
Yesterday, we heard the tremendous news that the First Nations led protest of Dump Site 41 to stop the spoiling of a pristine watershed by a dump site had succeeded.  The Tiny Township City Council voted for a one year moratorium.  Initiated by a peaceful sit-in of women from the Beausoleil First Nation, the protest grew to include many local townspeople, support of the Council of Canadians and a growing chorus of environmentalists.  

KI protesting Platinex incursion on their land again

On the left are Sam McKay and Chief Donny Morris at last Spring's rally for KI and Ardoch at Queen's Park
 The courageous people of  Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwugis (KI)  are out on the land in peaceful protest once again against mining on their lands  without their permission.  Despite promises from the province last Spring when the KI Chief and Council went to jail for just such a protest, mobilizing support from around the province and across the country, letters to Premier McGuinty sent unanswered.  Today they issued a press statement, excerpts appear below

Take action in solidarity with the Indigenous people of Peru

Today June 11 is an international day of action to stand in solidarity with the courageous people of the Amazon in Peru who are standing up against government and military forces to defend their land against oil exploration and environmental and cultural destruction.  To support them you can

Video from Democracy Now

Demonstrate at Peru Consulate today 1 pm 10 St. Mary's in Toronto or in Ottawa at the Peru Embassy at 11:30 am

Donate to the Amazonian Indigenous people through Rights Action who have promised that all donations marked Peru Indigenous will go directly to the struggle there

Sign the Avaaz global petition and pass it along to your friends

Write or call  your MP to say we don't want to do business with Peru, a country that we have recently signed a free trade agreement with until they respect the rights of the Indigenous people there

Inform yourself.  A good place to start is with the reports from Ben Powless, an Indigenous activist from Canada, who is there on the ground and you can listen to Ben tomorrow morning on the Current CBC RadioOne

Bob Lovelace, who himself was in jail last year for defending his people's land against destructive development, has written a moving appeal which I reproduce below.  Please act to defend Indigenous Rights, stop the destruction of the Amazon and the economic, environmental and cultural  terror created by so-called free trade

Live report from Peru by Ben Powless, assault on Indigenous people in Amazonia

I’ve just arrived at the head offices of AIDESEP, the Interethnic Association of Peruvian Rainforest Development, the representative body of Amazonian peoples of Peru, now at the centre of a developing emergency here in Peru. It is really a fight over who controls the Amazon and the lives of those who live there.


Senate passes electoral law, Evo's hunger strike victorious

Evo's hunger strike worked and the Senate passed the electoral law.  "The people should not forget that you need to fight for change. We alone can't guarantee this revolutionary process, but with people power it's possible," he said before dawn, flanked by 13 union activists who joined him in the fast"

Bolivia continues to show new paths to the rest of the world in achieving progressive change.  What a wonder that the media ignores this positive example of a marginalized people fighting for inclusion and equality.