As one of the four Saskatchewan women who founded the Idle No More movement late last year–a phenomenon which in only two months has transformed the conversation in Canada around Indigenous People – Sylvia McAdam has faced a steep learning curve about social activism, political manoeuvering, and media spin.
Mobilized by online social media, a good 3,000 people showed up for an Idle No More flash mob at the West Edmonton Mall, staging a full-scale Grand Entry, the ceremonial procession that opens pow wow gatherings.
Opposition continues to grow against Enbridge’s proposed 728-mile, $5.5 billion Northern Gateway pipeline, which would pump 525,000 barrels of diluted bitumen crude from Alberta’s oil sands to British Columbia’s coast, to be loaded on tankers for Asian export.
As Idle No More prepares for its next day of action on January 28, Indigenous activists and thinkers are taking time to reflect on the grassroots movement
Ontario is leading the way towards an American-style private health care system, says the Ontario Health Coalition. But communities are mobilizing to protect medicare.
After more than a month of protests, hunger strikes, social media–organized flash mobs, round dances and teach-ins—and in the wake of Friday’s meeting between national aboriginal leadership and Prime Minister Stephen Harper—the sincerity of Harper’s pledge to focus on First Nations issues is being discussed heatedly among activists from coast to coast.
Idle No More again flexed its muscles across the country yesterday, the third and largest Indigenous day of action since the grassroots movement began one month ago, on International Human Rights Day.
In just one month since the explosion of the Idle No More movement, what has been termed the “Round Dance Revolution” – on account of thousands participating in circle dances in malls and intersections – has captivated the hearts of many.
With the Idle No More movement rapidly spreading outside Canada’s borders – seeing Indigenous rights protests emerge as far away as Texas, New Zealand, New York and the United Kingdom – activists in Washington State and British Columbia are planning an action Saturday, January 5th that literally spans the frontier.
Here’s a look back over some of my key stories of the last year.