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Atlantic Canada’s Idle No More movement shows no signs of slowing down



News that not only informs, but inspires.

By Tim Fontaine
APTN National News
HALIFAX – It has been a busy week of protests, hunger strikes and controversy in Atlantic Canada, as the Idle No More movement continues to grow.

People on the LIstuguj First Nation in Quebec continued a blockade of the CN rail line. Mi’kmaq people there are hoping to add pressure to calls for the Prime Minister to meeting with Chief Theresa Spence, who’s been on a hunger strike for three weeks now.

In Nova Scotia, dozens of people who were fasting in solidarity with Chief Spence will finish Monday after four days without food. On the Millbrook First Nation near Truro, N.S. there will be a feast and round dance to celebrate.

In New Brunswick, around 30 people from across the Atlantic region will be leaving the St.Mary’s First Nation on a bus, including the community’s Chief Candice Paul. They’re making their way to Ottawa where they’ll spend three days supporting Chief Spence, rallying on Parliament Hill and some say they’ll even protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence.

Rose Julian from the Paqtnkek First Nation in Nova Scotia will be on that bus. She says Bill C-45 – the omnibus budget bill that so many First Nations oppose – means economic development can now happen at the expense of the environment.

“I work as a Lands and Economic Director [for the Paqtnkek First Nation] and believe in conservation and sustainability of resources. There can be no economic growth without a healthy planet, this is detrimental.” she said, adding, “we need to stop the Harper Government, We want Canada back, as should other Canadians.”

Chief Paul paid to charter the bus but people have been donating money to offset the costs.

And in Halifax, a morning radio show angered some listeners with a program about Chief Theresa Spence. The December 28 edition of “Maritime Morning” asked viewers if the Prime Minister should meet with Chief Spence because of her hunger strike.

The show’s host, Jordi Morgan, said that First Nations have some valid concerns but he called the Chief’s hunger strike a “form of terrorist negotiation.

When Morgan opened the show to callers, a man who was identified only as “John” said that Harper would be wrong to meet with First Nation leaders, as requested by Chief Spence. The caller also said Aboriginal people received too much money from the feds as is and that much of it goes to band leadership anyway.

John” also had some choice words for Chief Spence, mocking her weight and saying she should focus on fixing her community’s finances and not “blackmailing the whole country.”

And on the “Idle No More” movement, the caller says “they might as well have something to do besides being idle, which is what a lot of them have been for a long time.”

The host thanked the caller for his comments on air but the following day posted this on their Facebook page:

“The nature of our news and talk programming is to create a forum for objective debate on topics that are current and relevant to our audiences. The comments from the individual who called into Maritime Morning on Friday, December 28 regarding the hunger strike underway at the time by Chief Spence do not reflect views of this station or Maritime Morning host Jordi Morgan.”

APTN asked Maritime Morning host Jordi Morhgan and the producer Meghan Groff for a comment but received no response.

tfontaine@aptn.ca

@anishinaboy

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  • http://www.facebook.com/skwayaskas Sunshine Kwayaskas

    I held a small rally in Hinton, Alberta, 2 people rallied for Chief Spence, for Mother Earth, for all our relations. The 2 town papers AND the radio station won’t even discuss Bill C45 OR Chief Theresa but glorify Harper for the Oil deal with China. I stood on the hwy with my sign honoring Chief Theresa, honoring our treaties, honoring our Mother Earth, we prayed for us all. So regarding “terrorist” methods, I suppose Ghandi was a terrorist too by this measure!?! You know at least Princess Diana had enough class and empathy to visit those experiencing suffering. Harper is a coward and I shall not re – elect him nor shall I vote for Atleo…

  • tj

    There are going to be many John’s out there that will think they know the truth as he feels to speak so clearly about, and the fact he’s taking energy to speak about the situation clearly proves that the movements of idle no more protests are doing what was intended to create awareness of situations…. now the truth about what these John’s think they know are there and easy to find if they really want to know and many do. Government and media have been suppressing the truth for years, making things appear like they are doing much for First Nations but if that were the case, do you not think they would be in better circumstances? although mismanaged funds can be out there, its not only first nations that can be corrupt, for majority, this is not the situation at all. I urge those who really want to know the truth to take the time an learn, you will hear the truth if you are open to learn it. Government are not divulging very much of the truth so beware…..

  • greg

    We aint going anywhere , if you dont like natives youre not welcome here on turtle island,GO HOME !

  • http://www.facebook.com/saint.bubba Abvhiael Crowley

    i think its time that non-aboriginal canadians were reminded whose land this was in the first place, and that we are NOT a conquered peoples, we signed treaties with the government in good faith, only to have those treaties ignored and our rights subrogated. i think its time for native communities and peoples to declare those treaties null and void and reclaim ownership of our ancestral lands. for example, being blackfoot, my ancestors had the whole of southern alberta and saskatchewan as our territory. today is the right time to reaffirm our sovereignty over these lands. for people like “john” perhaps they should be sent back to where THEIR ancestors are from.

    the balfour declaration of 1917, which was the basis for the mandate of palestine and the formation of the jewish homeland,affirmed their right to their ancestral homeland. these principles should be applied to canada as well, even if it erodes federalism and fractures the canadian state. the federal government refuses to act with us as equals, so measures must be taken to ensure that they HAVE to, instead of choosing NOT to.