Updated-- Idle No More event set for Saturday

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Belle Hatfield
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March finale at the Yarmouth Mall around 1 p.m.

Vanguard news

The Idle No More movement will touch down in Yarmouth on Saturday, Jan. 5, when a march being organized by Acadia First Nations band member Sonya Isaac-Surette takes place along Starrs Road.

Organizers are asking people to rally at noon at the Acadia Band offices on the airport stretch. The march will proceed along Starrs Road to the Zellers mall where  marchers will gather around 1 p.m.

Yarmouth Mall manager Linda Deveau said the necessary permits are in place for participants to congregate in the public area of the mall.

Organizers are planning to hold a round dance that will be led by Mi'Kmaq drummers. Isaac-Surette said Wednesday she has received confirmation that New Brunswick drummers, Garland Joe Augustine and his brother Henry Augustine will lead the march with their drums..

The demonstration is being held in support of Idle No More, a Canadian-spawned movement that is picking up international support. Its aim is to mobilize people to take action to protect land and water resources and indigenous rights. It is a response to the passage of Bill C-45, the omnibus budget bill passed by the federal government in the fall. Among its provisions are sweeping changes to legislation governing environmental protection of Canada’s lakes, rivers and streams. 

Isaac-Surette says the bill should be a cause of concern for all Canadians.

She says the bill is particularly threatening to indigenous people, as it reduces autonomy over their land and undermines treaty rights.

“Native people, for the most part, have never really rallied … but people really need to understand what that bill will do,” she said.

 She believes the bill’s provisions will ease regulatory checks on resource development.

“They want to drill for oil. They want to get the pipelines through. On the native side of it, they want to give themselves access to our lands,” she said.

The movement has gained international attention since Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike early in December as a means of securing a meeting between First Nations leaders, the prime minister and Governor General. She wants a discussion about the treaty relationship and how it would be impacted by Bill C-45.

There have been several other Idle No More demonstrations in Nova Scotia in December, including a flash mob at Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth just before Christmas and several information pickets at Mill Brook and the Canso Causeway.

A contingent from the Maritimes made the trek to Ottawa just before New Year's Day to meet with Chief Spence.

Organizations: Acadia First Nations, Zellers

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Starrs Road, New Brunswick Canada Nova Scotia Dartmouth Mill Brook Ottawa

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  • The Average Canadian
    January 03, 2013 - 12:55

    You got to be kidding me! Where do I start... I guess since this an #IdleNoMore protest I'll start with them. Lets be crystal clear on what, in their own words, the movement is truly about and trying to achieve: Taken from their "Response to Legislation" page: "Idle No More calls on all people to continue to oppose and reject all imposed legislation originating from the federal government." So this leads me to ask what exactly do the IdleNoMore folks consider as "Imposed" legislation? The speed in which I am allowed to drive my car is an imposed legislation originating from the government... does that mean if they are seriously pushing for anarchy? Taken from their "MANIFESTO" page "We contend that: The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between First Nations and the British Crown who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources." Exactly what treaty has been broken? Because I have limited time and resources available I'll narrow it down to just the whole Attawapiskat and Chief Theresa Spense deal. I've looked into it and as it seems... what this all boils down to is GREED on both sides! It starts with Treat No. 3 which cover the land on which the Attawapiskat First Nation resides. In this treaty it clearly states: "...The Saulteaux Tribe of the Ojibbeway Indians and all other the Indians inhabiting the district hereinafter described and defined, do hereby cede, release, surrender and yield up to the Government of the Dominion of Canada for Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors forever, all their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever, to the lands..." For your reference, the "Indians" (as they are called in these treaties) of the Attawapiskat First Nation were officially included in the James Bay Treaty No. 9 which really just includes more First Nations under Treaty No. 3. and also covers the payout for the lands. It's an interesting read I'd suggest you go dig it up. Anyway, back to Treaty No. 3... it goes on to say: "...And the undersigned Chiefs, on their own behalf and on behalf of all other Indians inhabiting the tract within ceded, do hereby solemnly promise and engage to strictly observe this treaty, and also to conduct and behave themselves as good and loyal subjects of Her Majesty the Queen. They promise and engage that they will in all respects obey and abide by the law, that they will maintain peace and good order between each other, and also between themselves and other tribes of Indians, and between themselves and others of Her Majesty's subjects, whether Indians or whites, now inhabiting or hereafter to inhabit any part of the said ceded tract, and that they will not molest the person or property of any inhabitants of such ceded tract, or the property of Her Majesty the Queen, or interfere with or trouble any person passing or travelling through the said tract, or any part thereof; and that they will aid and assist the officers of Her Majesty in bringing to justice and punishment any Indian offending against the stipulations of this treaty, or infringing the laws in force in the country so ceded." I wish I could BOLD or Underline... because this is the part that is of real interest... "Not ... interfere with or trouble any person passing or travelling through the said tract, or any part thereof; and that they will aid and assist the officers of Her Majesty in bringing to justice and punishment any Indian offending against the stipulations of this treaty, or infringing the laws in force in the country so ceded." So, as long as we're talking about breaking treaty agreements, I'll call ahead to the Police and let them know to prepare for the influx of First Nations who are breaking their Treaty agreements! Lastly, if I haven't made it clear that I do NOT support this movement or any form of blackmail... for those of you who are so sure that First Nations would be better stewards of the lands than trained professionals and experts... I'll leave you with this... From the IdleNoMore "Manafesto" Page: "The state of Canada has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by using the land and resources. Canadian mining, logging, oil and fishing companies are the most powerful in the world due to land and resources. Some of the poorest First Nations communities (such as Attawapiskat) have mines or other developments on their land but do not get a share of the profit." That right folks... it's not about poor development, or environmental disasters, or even about saving the polar bears... they are simply upset because they aren't getting enough $$$. It has nothing to do with destroying hunting grounds, or even taking them away from them. They simply want more money... and who can blame them! If I signed the rights to my property away for 10 bucks and someone came and found oil I'd be upset to! Look, when I see things like the deplorable conditions on some reserves, native women going missing, high suicide rates, etc, my heart aches. We've been throwing money at the problems for so long that we seem to think it's the only solution. While I struggle to pay my bills and put food on the table for my children, I would like to know exactly how is the money, my Canadian tax dollars that are being funneled into this system are being spent and broken out? Would more $$$ solve the issues on the reserves? Would giving a few seats in the house of commons to native leaders be something that would ensure they have a voice in decisions? Look, in the example of Chief Theresa Spense... she is on a "Hunger Strike". I have to admit for not eating for 28 - 29 days, she looks pretty good when compared to some others that I've seen but you know what... that's not the point... Hunger strikes are a LAST RESORT action. Historically they are done when people feel they have no other option. If Chief Theresa Spense really has exhausted all other options to deal with the issues that she is trying to bring light to, can someone please provide me a list of what has been done? If I can see some evidence that some level of government has broken a treaty agreement and is not upholding their side of the obligations then I'll be happy to support the movement... but until then this seems to average Canadians to be more of the same useless and futile nonsense as the Occupy "X" protesters tried to push onto us.