Idle No More is a recent Twitter trend (#idlenomore) that started in just one woman’s home and spread like a prairie fire. But more than that, it is a nation-wide grassroots social justice movement for indigenous sovereignty and justice, that if ignored, will erupt like Mount St. Helens on December 21st. You can read more about the people who got this particular face of this long-standing demand for indigenous sovereignty and justice, in this article by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network — currently one of the only mass media outlet in the country addressing the Idle No More protests, and (as far as this blogger is aware) the first to report on Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike. She is protesting Canada’s failure to hold up its end of its treaties with First Nations across the country, and she hopes to force either Prime Minister Harper or the Crown into a meeting to make the demand for long overdue respect heard. But Harper isn’t listening. In fact, he’s ignoring her. And this is just one of innumerable grassroots efforts of indigenous unrest across the entire country. At least one group has sworn to enact Aboriginal law to the fullest extent possible if the treaties are not upheld by December 21st, but this blogger can neither confirm nor rule out who was responsible for starting the spread of this message, or on behalf of which First Nations communities.
I’ve said it before: the Canadian government is, for all intents and purposes, openly declaring war on First Nations by continuing to ignore their demands for respectful consultation, and pushing economic exploitation of the Earth’s resources for quick profit at the expense of mass genocide. I’m not the first to have said it, and I will be far from the last.
And thus, it is in this context, just 24 hours after being spat on and grabbed by the throat, and just a few hours after finally getting out of that environment, that while in a state half-way between dreaming and waking, I experienced a powerful vision:
I was outside the house where this latest incident of domestic violence had occurred. I was alone in the rain and it was raining. I couldn’t feel anything. Despite how clearly emotionally tense this place will forever be for me, I wasn’t angry or sad or afraid. I was just numb.
And that is when a truck pulled up. Out stepped the Mohawk medicine man I met this Summer. Everything had been taken from him — even his glasses — and the entire shape of his face had changed from going hungry over a prolonged period. He was gaunt and his energy was low. Though he couldn’t recognize the person in the driver’s seat, he recognized me.
I told him I was concerned and I really meant it. He didn’t say anything. I asked him if he’s ok. He didn’t say anything. I told him his entire face looks different. He still didn’t say anything. I told him, feeling a familiar sting of alienation, to take care of himself. He finally spoke. He said “You have good parenting skills,” in as patronizing a tone as he could summon. I then assumed his place in the passenger side of the truck. The man who had spat in my face and grabbed me by the throat was sitting in the driver’s seat.
The Mohawk man’s sister actually stepped into that truck ten years ago, when Pickton was in the driver’s seat. The truck took her to the nation’s most notorious pig farm, where she was never seen alive again.
We are all getting into that truck now, and Grabby Mark is merely a familiar stand-in for Stephen Harper. Indigenous blood is already on his hands, and soon all of ours will be too.
We all hold a share of the power to stop that truck. Collectively, we hold the power to tear it apart until all that is remaining is scrap metal. This is what Idle No More means. It is entirely in the name of indigenous sovereignty and justice, but everyone’s lives in this country, regardless of race/ethnicity, depend on its success.
It’s time. Stand up for justice. And don’t say I didn’t warn you or that you didn’t see this coming. It’s been coming for 500 years.