Support Idle No More's Global Day of Action on Jan. 28th Because We're All in This Together

Tla'amin First Nation Members Chanting and Drumming

The Tla'amin Nation and residents of the Powell River area will be joining many other Idle No More supporters for a Global Day of Action on January 28th, 2013. Folks will be meeting at the Westview Ferry Terminal, Spirit Square, at 4pm. The local organizers encourage everyone to bring their friends and family, their kids, drums, noisemakers, signs, voices, and solidarity. For more information as well as many inspiring words check out the Idle No More Powell River Facebook group.

The Idle No More Movement is a grassroots movement, clearly no political organization speaks for Idle No More. This movement is of the people… For The People! The engineers were 4 Saskatchewan First Nations women, Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon who said, "This day of action will peacefully protest attacks on Democracy, Indigenous Sovereignty, Human Rights and Environmental Protections when Canadian MPs return to the House of Commons on January 28th."

Why support Idle No More? Because now is the moment we must all come together to ensure that children two, three and twelve generations from now will have clean water. Everyone of every political stripe, of every belief structure, of every nation needs clean water. Lakes and rivers are either clean or dirty for Native and non-Native children alike. Lakes, rivers and the many species within them, once contaminated by pollutants, might never recover in human timescales. The dangerous and illegal authoritarian dictates within Bill-38 and Bill C-45 effect everyone.

Today' news includes another great story. The Port Alberni-based Hupacasath Nation is taking legal action against the federal government over a major investment treaty with China that has sparked controversy. The Hupacasath First Nation claims there was no consultation with Native groups about the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. The First Nation is seeking a declaration from Federal Court that Canada must consult with First Nations before the deal becomes binding and it is seeking an injunction to stop the treaty from being ratified until consultations are held. A lawyer representing the First Nation said, “This is really a court case for all citizens of Canada because it’s going to affect everyone negatively for a lot of different reasons, whether it’s to do with environmental, whether it’s to do with jobs, all kind of different areas. We’re all in this together.”

And that's the real key, we're all in this together. But while big legislative changes like Bills C-38 and 45 affect everyone in Canada, not everyone in Canada has the same legal basis for fighting back. First Nations have a unique leverage here. They are issuing legal challenges to the omnibus bills and trade agreements on the basis of infringement on treaty rights, land title, and constitutional questions.

Environmental groups are waking up to this strategy in the fight against Northern Gateway, but it needs to happen on a bigger scale.We all need to realize that First Nations and non-indigenous Canadians have common goals and interests that go well beyond any one pipeline or province; they extend across the country. We need to support each other in walking the paths that will achieve our common goals.