Idle No More is calling for an international Day of Action to be held in communities around the world on October 7th, 2013.
The announcement comes towards the end of the popular Sovereignty Summer campaign, launched on June 21, Aboriginal Day in Canada. Sovereignty Summer is a campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Indigenous rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-Indigenous supporters. The campaign focuses specifically on six calls for change which the movement would like to accomplish:
1) Repeal provisions of Bill C-45 in Canada (including changes to the Indian Act and Navigable Waters Act, which infringe on environmental protections, Aboriginal and Treaty rights) and abandon all pending legislation which does the same.
2) Deepen democracy in Canada through practices such as proportional representation and consultation on all legislation concerning collective rights and environmental protections, and include legislation which restricts corporate interests.
3) In accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (UNDRIP) principle of free, prior, and informed consent, respect the right of Indigenous peoples to say no to development on their territory.
4) Cease its policy of extinguishment of Aboriginal Title and recognize and affirm Aboriginal Title and Rights, as set out in section 35 of Canada’s constitution and recommended by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
5) Honour the spirit and intent of the historic Treaties. Officially repudiate the racist Doctrine of Discovery and the Doctrine of Terra Nullius, and abandon their use to justify the seizure of Indigenous Nations’ lands and wealth.
6) Actively resist violence against women and hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and involve Indigenous women in the design, decision-making, process and implementation of this inquiry, as a step toward initiating a comprehensive and coordinated national action plan.
Sovereignty Summer also saw the launch of a new Idle No More website, with the important new feature of a contact database of over 100,000 volunteers, allowing people to get involved more easily and providing a fast way for the movement to spread information and news.
The upcoming Day of Action coincides with the 250th Anniversary of the British Royal Proclamation, which led to the founding of Canada with no consultation from the extensive Aboriginal population already living in the country. The call for action is a result of a conference held on August 17 by Idle No More-Toronto and Defenders of the Land on traditional Anishinaabe Territory in Ontaria, Canada. As organizers say, “we encourage local autonomous groups to join in this call for a national Day of Action with messages and tactics that are appropriate to your local struggles. We must collectively send a clear message that our movement will not stop intervening in Canada’s attempts to conduct business as usual, until our right to free, prior, and informed consent is universally upheld, until all provisions of Bill c-45 are repealed, until justice is served in the dealings over our murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and until our lands and our treaties are respected!”
Some upcoming Idle No More events include:
- September 21 – Draw the Line against the KeyStone XL! On September 21st many groups across the US including regional Idle No More solidarity groups will be organizing actions to show President Obama that it’s time to draw the line, and stop Keystone XL for good. Learn more and organize a local action in your community!
- October 4 – Join the 3rd Annual Families of Sisters in Spirit Vigil 2013. Families of Sisters in Spirit believes that no decisions can be made on behalf of Indigenous women, families, communities and Nations without our free, prior, informed consent. This demands our DIRECT leadership in any/all processes. Help FSIS bring as many families as we can to Ottawa to have our voices heard!! In our own words! In our own ways! Learn more and join the action!
- October 7 – Call for Unified National Action – Everywere! Idle No More put out a call to all Native and non-Native supporters to join in a mass day of action on Oct 7th, 2013. This day marks the 250th Anniversary of the British Royal Proclamation, which lead to the founding of this country they call Canada – a country founded on indigenous lands. If you believe in the spirit of Idle No More and the 6 calls for change of #SovSummer then we ask you to stand up and be counted this October 2013. Organize an event in your community.
- 4. October 12-20 – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, Visits Canada. James Anaya, who recently called on all countries to respect treaties with Indigenous Peoples, will be visiting Canada in October to examine the human rights situation of Indigenous peoples. Anaya, whose request to visit Canada was ignored by the Harper government for over a year, will be issuing a report on extractive industries and Indigenous Peoples in September.
To join existing Day of Action events or to organize your own, please visit http://www.idlenomore.ca/events.
Photo: People march along Wellington St. in Ottawa as they take part in National Aboriginal Day. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)