Idle No More began in late 2012 when Sylvia McAdam, Jess Gordon, Nina Wilson and Sheelah Mclean started organizing ‘teach-ins’ to bring awareness to Bill C-45 introduced as an omnibus bill by Canadian Prime-Minister Stephen Harper.
The four women decided they could no longer stay silent in the face of what is a legislative (genocidal) attack on First Nation Peoples, lands and waters.
In particular, Bill C-45 overhauled the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) of 1882 which protects Indigenous land and water rights from destructive capitalist development.
The NWPA mandates an extensive approval process before any construction (destruction) could take place. The new bill would essentially weaken protections of Indigenous Peoples rights.
In the view of Indigenous Peoples, the current right-wing Canadian government’s legislative efforts are simply a continuation of over 520 years of non-stop genocide and colonization endured by Indigenous Peoples not only in Canada but throughout the “Western” Hemisphere.
There have been several international solidarity actions to support and connect the Indigenous struggle throughout the world.
As such, the Mexica Movement, which has been active since the early 1990s, has begun organizing a series of actions in East Los Angeles to support the Idle No More Movement.
On Saturday, January 12, 2013, several dozen Idle No More supporters came out to educate and bring awareness to the Chicana/o-Mexicano community of East Los Angeles.
At the corner of Atlantic Blvd and Avenida César Chávez, a small Indigenous drum circle brought a harmonious and balanced beat to the protest action, while chants of “Why are we here? Idle No More!” filled the cold East Los Angeles air with an energy of resistance to not only remind but to educate people that this is our land!
The Mexica Movement and supporters of the Idle No More Movement will continue to come together every Saturday from 12-3pm in East Los Angeles.
Know Your History!
For immediate release
Press Release, January 14, 2013
From: INM founders, organizers and Elder advisors
Idle No More has a responsibility to resist current government policies in a peaceful and respectful way. It can be done. It can be done without aggression or violence. This is an energetic, exciting and transformative time.
This movement has been guided by spiritual Elders, dreams, visions, and from peoples’ core values. We are here to ensure the land, the waters, the air, and the creatures and indeed each of us, return to balance and discontinue harming each other and the earth.
To keep us on this good path, we ask that you, as organizers create space for Elders or knowledge/ceremonial keepers to assist in guiding decisions as we move forward. It is up to each of us to see that this movement respects all people, the environment, and our communities and neighbours. In peace and solidarity.