APTN National News
While thousands are expected to converge on Ottawa Friday as the Idle No More movement turns into a national day of action one woman in Egypt plans to make it go international.
Patricia Stein, a Lakota from North Dakota, has been living in Cairo, Egypt since 2010 teaching English and art to young children and intends to demonstrate outside of the Canadian embassy.
“I can’t stay there for long since the Canadian embassy is right beside the Syrian one (high security presence). But doing what I can,” she said to APTN National News via Twitter.
She also has to do it before nightfall because people take to the streets on Fridays and it can be unsafe she said. With a seven hour time difference of Ottawa she will be the first to start the day of action. She intends to begin at 3 p.m., Egypt time, which would be 8 a.m. in Ottawa.
Stein, 21, has been active on the Idle No More movement through social media sites like Twitter. In fact, a map showing where all the tweets with the hashtag #idlenomore have been used indicates Stein isn’t alone in Egypt.
A few have popped up outside of where she lives but she only expects one other person to join her Friday.
She wants to post two signs on the wall of the embassy, including a painting she did of an Indigenous dancer with “Idle No More” painted over it in thick black letters.
She’ll be joined, however, in London, England by a group of demonstrators, as well as a couple in the United States, but it’s here in Canada where most of the rallies are planned with Ottawa expected to be the largest.
They’re protesting federal government legislation they say will affect treaties and their lands.
It’s a grassroots movement sparked by four women in Saskatchewan that has grown to be a strong national movement. Today, more than a thousand people shutdown a portion of Hwy. 401 near London, Ont.
Busloads of people are expected to arrive in Ottawa from different parts of the country with the rally beginning at noon.
A list of speakers has been confirmed for the demonstration, including Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence who entered her ninth day of a hunger strike Wednesday or a spokesperson. She is demanding a meeting between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General David Johnston and First Nations leaders. She wants treaty rights to be respected.
Other scheduled speakers include Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, NDP MP Charlie Angus and about a dozen others. As of Wednesday a representative from the Conservative party hadn’t been confirmed.