10 january 2013

Canada's indigenous people at turning point as Idle No More protests continue


(Photo CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley)
Idle No More protest in Sarnia, Jan 5, 2012.

The details have not been finalized, but Canada's Prime Minister, the Governor General and indigenous representatives are meeting on Friday, January 11.

This in reaction to an unprecedented series of protests and hunger strikes loosely organized under the banner of the 'Idle No More' movement. Primarily focussed on the First Nation Indian indigenous people, it has also had echoes among the Inuit and Métis of Canada, as well as the Canadian mainstream.

It started with a tweet on Twitter and the hashtag #IdleNoMore. Then it expanded into a national day of action, and is now a pan-Canadian movement. As well a hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence in Ottawa, has pushed Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Queen's representative the Governor General to agree to meetings on January 11, something that initially did not seem to be probable.

The success of the 'Idle No More' movement has also raised questions about how representative the government-funded Assembly of First Nations (AFN) of chiefs is of the entire First Nations indigenous community.

RCI's Wojtek Gwiazda spoke to Dr Taiaiake Alfred about the turning point facing indigenous people and Canada.  Dr Alfred is a professor of indigenous governance at Canada's University of Victoria.
More information:
Idle No More web site - idlenomore.ca
Assembly of First Nations web site - www.afn.ca
Dr Taiaiake Alfred info - here


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