Idle No More: Canadian Aboriginals Essay

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Idle No More: A Critical Exploration of the Six Demands of Idle No More And the Importance of Meaningful Action by the Federal Government On October 15th 2013 the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, released a statement upon the conclusion of his visit to Canada. In his statement, Anaya reveals that “from all I have learned, I can only conclude that Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples of the country” (2013:8). Even though Canada was one of the first countries to extend constitutional protection to the rights of indigenous people, Canadian aboriginals experience a well-being gap. Aboriginal teens are more likely to commit suicide; Aboriginal women are…show more content…
INM originated when four women — Nina Wilson, Sylvia Mcadam, Jessica Goredon and Sheelah Mclean — organized a work shop focused on how the conservative omnibus bill, Bill C-45, would affect first nations people. This bill proposed changes to various acts and regulations that would directly affect Aboriginal sovereignty. These include; the Indian Act, the Navigable waters protection act, the environmental assessment Act and the Fisheries Act (Graveline, 2013: 293). These proposed changes mobilized aboriginals and non-aboriginals across Canada to come together in solidarity and form the largest movement for indigenous rights in Canada since Oka in 2002. With an excellent campaign strategy involving social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the INM movement has been inspiring youth and women to come together collectively to demand change. Through rallies, protests, round dancing and road blocks, the INM movement has gained national coverage in the news media (not all of which has been sympathetic to the INM cause). In particular, the six week hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence gained immense news coverage, and put pressure on the Prime Minister to quickly organize meetings with chiefs of first nation tribes (Graveline 2013: 293). While exposure in the news media, is necessary in order to win the

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