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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/25/13

Canada's indigenous peoples join forces, call all Canadians to join 'Solidarity Spring'

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Michelle Devlin
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The sound of drums beating has just gotten a whole lot louder in Canada with the joining together of Idle No More and Defenders of The Land, a network of Indigenous Activists formed in 2008.

Idle No More, a First Nations Indigenous movement that became an instant phenomenon in December 2012, was established by four First Nations women, Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean and Nina Wilson, in response to the Harper government's Bill C45, which serves a corporate agenda by removing environmental protections from most of Canada's freshwater lakes.

APTN National News reported "Idle No More has joined forces with Defenders of the Land and the new alliance plans to launch 'escalating action' during what is being called the 'Sovereignty Summer.'

Idle No More has now agreed to support non-violent direct action, including blockades, in the cause of Indigenous rights, APTN reported.

The draft declaration states: "Alternatives will only come to life if we escalate our actions, taking bold non-violent direct action that challenges the illegitimate power of corporations who dictate government policy."

The draft calls upon non-Indigenous Canadians to stand beside First Nations in peaceful protest in a show of solidarity against the Harper agenda. During the Idle No More protests earlier this year, hundreds of non-Native participants joined the drum circles and round dances across the country. Calling the action a "Solidarity Spring," the draft called for actions on March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and April 22, Earth Day.

From the APTN report, quoting the declaration:

"The Harper government's agenda is clear: to weaken all collective rights and environmental protections, in order to turn Canada into an extraction state that gives corporations unchecked power to destroy our communities and environment for profit. Idle No More and Defenders of the Land".have joined together to issue this common call for escalating action."

The declaration also called for a "Solidarity Spring" to precede the Sovereignty Summer with calls to action on March 21, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and April 22, Earth Day.

The declaration makes the following demands:

> A repeal of sections of the hastily passed Bill C-45 that impact the environment along with Aboriginal and Treaty rights;

> Changes to the electoral system to proportional representation and consultation with First Nations before any legislation is introduced that impacts collective rights and the environment;

> Full and immediate implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

> An end to the government's policies of "extinguishment";

> Full implementation of the treaties and a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.

"We know it will take a lot more to defeat (Prime Minister Stephen Harper) and the corporate agenda. But against the power of their money and weapons, we have the power of our bodies and spirits," says the declaration. "There is nothing that can match the power of peaceful, collective action in defense of the people and Mother Earth." -- APTN News

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Michelle Devlin is a Freelance Writer/Journalist passionate about life on planet Earth. Michelle enjoys reporting for her fans both locally and worldwide on a wide range of subjects. An actress, director, producer, history buff, earth mother, (more...)

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