Open Letter

An Open Letter To Jessica Gordon & Sylvia McAdam

You are two of the four women declaring themselves the “founders” of Idle No More, and a lot of people are buying into this idea. As such, you are gaining more and more media attention as time and the Idle No More movement progresses. But instead of exploiting this attention to discuss the ideas that many First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities are spreading awareness about, you are busy using your time in the limelight to vocalize dissent about some of the tactics you personally disagree with. This is a waste of time and a decision that comes with much further-reaching consequences than apparently either of you has spent the effort to think about, and this is the focus of my open letter to you both today.

Update: For those readers who are interested, I wrote this follow-up in response to how this open letter appears to have sparked both a knee-jerk reaction towards me personally (bad) and a huge heap of ongoing critical discourse (great!) among people who don’t unanimously agree.

First of all, Idle No More is not just about Bill C-45 and Chief Theresa Spence. Our Prime Minister, in direct contradiction to his own sentiments about omnibus bills from just a few years ago, is acting in violation of the democratic rights promised to all Canadians, by passing an omnibus bill containing 30 pieces of legislation, some of which also violate the treaties between the Crown and the First Nations. A woman is starving to death (and the community she leads freezing in trailers and tents that would be condemned in any urban locations) while our Prime Minister insists on ignoring her demands. These are both direct examples of structures of racism in the colonial government, as our Prime Minister is the voice of leadership in our country. I have little doubt this has escaped either of you.

But what about the Nunavut food crisis? What about the missing and murdered Aboriginal women from all across the country? What about the recent report on the Missing Women Commission & Inquiry, that stated loud and clear for the entire world to hear, that the Vancouver Police (whose salaries are paid with tax dollars) failed all 49 women whose remains were found on the Pickton farm? What about the 70 women (most of whom were Aboriginal) Thomas George Svekla is suspected of having murdered over the same timeline as Pickton was on his own serial murder spree in the adjacent province? What about the disproportionate representation of indigenous people in Canada’s prison system (some sources citing 20% of the total prison population), compared to the proportion of indigenous people in the total population of this country (around 3%)?

What about the Indian Act, which most people seem to either not know or not care, was written with the explicit intent of “killing the Indian in the Indian”? What about the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, which visited survivors of the residential school system over a five-year period, to finally allow them the space to air their trauma? What about the recommendations the indigenous communities themselves offered to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, so that the rest of Canada has some direction on how to work towards reconciliation with indigenous communities? What about all the people who took their own lives after telling the TRC their stories? What about all the indigenous teens living on reserves who have made attempts on their own lives, because they are living in conditions of unbearable poverty?

What about all the health risks the Canadian government has either knowingly or deliberately exposed indigenous peoples to, since the formation of this country? Smallpox? Tuberculosis? Forced sterilizations? Depriving supplies of hand sanitizer from reserves during the flu pandemic, knowing that a majority of those same reserves didn’t have clean water with which to practice hand-washing, because someone suggested that the “Indians” might drink it? Just to name a few items that have cost thousands and thousands of people their lives.

What about Raymond Silverfox and Frank Paul? To name just two Aboriginal men who died unnecessarily while in custody of either the police or RCMP, who refused to provide access to medical treatment (i.e., in the case of Frank Paul, they just threw him outside in the cold behind the detachment; and in the case of Raymond Silverfox, they dragged his body by one ankle through his own sick, like he was nothing more than a dirty rag). What about “starlight tours”, which we all know have been going on for a long time, and still keep going (if you don’t know what this is, perhaps you have more to learn from the community you profess to be leading)? What about the apathy of police when dealing with violence within indigenous communities, especially towards indigenous women in urban areas? What about that Highway Of Tears billboard, warning indigenous women not to hitch-hike along the highway where so many of them have mysterious disappeared?

I could keep going, but my hope is that you’re getting the drift by now. Then there are the 11 treaties, virtually all of which resulted in the government of Canada absconding with whatever it wanted while leaving the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit holding the bag, waiting for their end of the promises made. They are still waiting while the colonial government keeps changing the “due political process”, so that it never has to answer to this. Then there is the Canadian government’s suspiciously narrower definition of genocide when compared to that of the United Nations, defined formally in 1948. I guess the Canadian government would have to hold itself accountable somehow (and actually stop perpetuating those acts) if it adhered to the UN on this one, so its solution is to just make up its own definition that magically makes the Canadian government look innocent — I guess that’s why Justice Sinclair said that the UN defines genocide in terms of what has happened within Canada’s borders, but that doesn’t mean genocide has taken place here.

Secondly, you and your two colleagues did not “found” Idle No More. You founded a hashtag on Twitter and community teach-ins about omnibus bills containing legislation that impacts First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities without their prior knowledge or consent. The grassroots fight that the whole world is seeing pour into the streets under the banner “Idle No More!” has been going on for several centuries. Early on in the formation of this country, part of indigenous resistance was called the Red River Rebellion and subsequently the North-West Rebellion. In the 70s, part of it was called the American Indian Movement. There were also (in no particular order) the Oka Crisis, the James Bay protests, the G20 Summit protests, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and very recently here in Vancouver, a 24-hour occupation for more than 200 consecutive days of a former Musqueam village which had been declared a national historic site in 1933 and was known to contain intact graves — because the Premier of BC gave a condo developer a permit to dig in, and their heavy machinery desecrated Musqueam graves.

There have been countless actions, demonstrations, protests, and grassroots resistance movements, across Canada and the United States, acted upon and led entirely by indigenous communities coming together across the continent, as well as actions, demonstrations, protests, and grassroots resistance movements which indigenous communities took part in to help foster a thoughtful and successful call for social justice. Now part of the centuries-old ongoing indigenous resistance movement is called Idle No More. Part of it is also called Unist’ot’en Camp, which is responsible for an ongoing blockade against proposed pipelines on Wet’suwet’en territory (part of unceded territory here in BC). For all I can tell, this blockade has been going on for over ten years already. The point is this: if you think you four-handedly “founded” Idle No More with your two colleagues, I’m bursting your bubble.

And finally, though I’m just a totally unprofessional blogger living on provincial disability “benefits”, and am a white Settler here on Coast Salish territory, I hope you take what I am about to say seriously: stop wasting your opportunities to speak to the concerns of this movement with white liberal media outlets by talking about your personal opinions of some of the tactics being used. Just stop it.

No one from white liberal media outlets is knocking on my door, or even sending me emails, asking me to explain to them why Idle No More is happening and why indigenous people are filling shopping malls, street intersections, bridges, ports, railways, highways, Stephen Harper’s front lawn, or Canadian Parliament with drummers, singers, bannock, and round dances. They are asking you because you promote yourselves as representatives, spokespeople, and “founders” of this grassroots movement. Because of your socioeconomic status, you are seen as presentable and relevant enough for the general public, to appear on the evening news or be quoted in online and print articles. But they are also asking you because they want a sound-bite or a short quote they can exploit to appeal to the general public — not to sway them to the cause of defending indigenous rights and sovereignty. And you’re giving it to them freely, every time you express your personal opinions about tactics you disagree with, as if your personal opinion exists in a vacuum separated from your appointed status as representatives, spokespeople, and “founders”. You’re feeding trolls, and I am personally asking you to stop, because you are putting the grassroots activists who are participating in those tactics you personally disagree with, in even greater danger than they would already be exposed to.

Let me say that again, so it sinks in: you are directly increasing the risks faced by some of the grassroots activists whose tactics you personally disagree with, by feeding white liberal media trolls with sound-bites and quotes about your defamatory personal opinions, instead of utilizing that time like people who understand and respect what a grassroots movement is (i.e., no centralized authority — that means you and your ego have no relevance to most of the people engaging in activism on the ground), and who understand the full scope of the fight being waged (i.e., demanding an end to several centuries of ongoing, systematically orchestrated genocide against indigenous peoples). Or did you somehow convince yourselves that your personal opinions about tactics are magically helping people who are willing to put their lives at risk to make their demands known? Have you noticed Chief Spence (the real one, not the fake Facebook one) isn’t expressing anything about tactics, except a tolerance for diversity thereof?

I mean… How long have you actually been involved in grassroots activism? Because it sure seems to me, as someone who has never met either of you, and will likely never meet either of you (both on account of socioeconomic disparity and of the tactics I am willing to take part in that you apparently aren’t), that you’re a little green to how this all works. For the sake of peat, you even fell for what a Chief Spence troll account on Facebook said — anyone with virtually any experience organizing grassroots actions would have seen right through this and at least checked their sources before publishing a call to condemn blockades (as if Chief Spence is fasting for and leading the grassroots in Wet’suwet’en? I think not!) Anyone who has been involved in any grassroots social justice movement at all will know that this happens in every social justice movement, and will already be expecting it when it happens. From the very beginning and at frequent but irregular intervals throughout its progression, people will repeatedly emerge with new tactics to undermine the movement.

And right now? That’s you, Jessica and Sylvia. Keep your egos out of this before you dismantle the very Thing you’re so convinced you started.

Sincerely,

Haifisch

Update: Since posting this in the late evening on January 13th, Sylvia McAdam’s most recent interview with the CBC has been released, and she has declared a boycott on further interviews with the CBC as a result of how her statements and sentiments were deliberately and maliciously misrepresented to undermine the Idle No More movement (see paragraph starting with “No one from white liberal media outlets is knocking on my door…”).
I strongly recommend for everyone reading this (as there are a lot of you) that they take this experience to heart and encourage organizers in their communities to choose individual people as representatives to engage with media at rallies, flash mobs, and other demonstrations. Community members should also be instructed (often — i.e., more than just once in the beginning of the demonstration, as many people continue to arrive throughout at many of these) to direct news reporters to those appointed representatives for statements.
Update 2.0: Today, an absolutely mind-boggling series of blockades went up as part of a national day of action, from as early as sunrise, all across the country. Great work, grassroots! Keep it going! The “Idle No More Four” have now sent out a mass email, to potentially tens of thousands of their “followers”, in which they declared they don’t stand by radical indigenous grassroots. This was done sometime today (Jan 16th).

81 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Jessica Gordon & Sylvia McAdam

  1. Thank you thank you thank you! this brought tears to my eyes as I too have similar concerns and continue to hurt for our missing and murdered sisters, our brothers who died by starlight, our innocent children lost forever in the social services system. my heart breaks while these fools pander and play games while our peoples lives are at stake. and by Creator you nailed it when you mentioned that the media love thier socioeconomic status ( translate.. oh well THESE Indians appear to be well educated) I pray they listen to you. Even if I have to ‘double-smudge’

    • Hych’ka siem, for all your love and strength. You are equally in my thoughts as I am in yours.

      That shared grief is what makes us the warriors who are taking a stand, even in the face of what things may come.

      • Well, it took all of an hour to find this again. Tenacity pays off. I don’t wish to bite the hand that feeds me for it. I blame my p.c.(personal computer, not the other) :)

  2. In solidarity!!!!!!!!! This is bigger than “Me”. I will not muzzle voices with my need to control!!!! Here here!!

  3. I am Not 100% sure how to respond or take this. One thing I know about all the points you bring up have Merit and Validity. Although they have these qualities I am not sure what your whole Point is, because if these Bills that are before us now go into effect without a Resistance Movement, it’s like saying we agree. If all Your Points could have Predicted and a movement started before as opposed to after the fact then we might have made some progress in Educating the public about these issues as IDLE NO MORE is doing about these Bills that are on us now and will have a Direct Diminish of Not Only our Treaty Rights but the Environment IE Water and everything that relies on it. I’m not sure by attacking the founders of this movement is the best way to achieve Solidarity. I agree about the issues you brought up need to be addressed, but do you feel that by Voicing your displeasure towards the Founders are the Best ways of doing this..?? Please Note I am by No way Showing disrespect for your concern, but just voicing some Points tp ponder. Thanks AKA (Flying Child)

    • I think you missed the entire portion of the blog where I went into what grassroots means, how there are no “founders”, and how a diversity of tactics is not only beneficial but necessary (thus, nit-picking about specific tactics in media has far-reaching consequences for some of the people engaging in them).

      I don’t know whether or not that was on purpose, but please reconsider your framework.

  4. You have absolutely no idea of what you speak and are driving a wedge between indigenous people as a settler and it sucks – that is oppressive. – do they like talking to media – no – Jess has turned down media as she is shy! Did they go to Ottawa to stick themselves in from of the press dissent on Parliment? NO – The founders are working at home for free 24/7 to try and assert sovereignty into their own Cree people! Did they say they don’t like resistance! NO! You are a women and are involved with lateral violence towards native women – one of which JUST finished her bachelors – they are all MOMS and TRIBAL people first. You sound like a typical non-native feminist asserting your venom over native women and NOT supporting us. It’s sad.

    • Indigenous people are not a hive mind. They don’t all think alike and agree on everything. There is no wedge to drive between people who are not all the same.

      My ethnicity does not determine for me, either the depth of my knowledge or the wisdom shared by Elders at Idle No More events (some of whom may say things you disagree with — but that doesn’t make it less true).

      I get it. You appear to have a personal connection to these women, and believe that because I’m a white person, I’m just attacking them. I actually anticipated this might happen here and there, because I’ve already gotten my fair share of that for being involved in any capacity with this movement at all. But criticism of how attention from the media is being exploited (and thus, how these women are being exploited by the media) is not an attack.

    • Well, this settler heard Sylvia McAdam on the national CBC radio news tonight criticizing blockaders and distancing herself from *FN* people who are doing what they feel is necessary to protect their rights. Sylvia’s message was extremely confusing and potentially divisive. Definitely the Sun media trolls will have a field day with what she said today. If she doesn’t like talking to the media then maybe she should decline interviews. The whole country heard what she said and it was DIVISIVE and disrespectful to every group who is out there using whatever peaceful methods are at there disposal to assert their sovereignty. IMO.

    • Tansi/hello there person.

      Leena Minifie says:
      January 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      I find your connection to the whole thing quite disturbing. The slap in the face of generations of indigenous resistance needs to be called out. Distracting from this reality by using “the settler card” is WRONG.

      Your naive inexperience I find fairly rude.
      Consider yourself put on notice from an elder Cree.
      I would consider the rest of the crew, but I will simply put some faith in their learning curve as well and hope they get their collective shit together soon………..

      Perhaps you can actually have a long look at yourself and the lack of indepth wisdom by yourself and the so called professed leaders/founders with their need to control and minimize the struggle? I certainly hope so, so that the movement that is beyond you our me or these professed founders/leaders and inspire people to continue on any way they can while acknowledging the mass ignorance, rude privileged behaviors to date!

      A movement of able bodied, hetero, cisgendered privileged people! I THINK NOT!

      All our relations

  5. Unfortunately, Canadians are looking at Spence and her mismanagement of her own band which is perpetuating the stereo type towards Canada’s Aboriginals. If people really believe Spence is doing this for her people, they are mistaken. I have the highest respect for those in the INM movement who are standing up for themselves, Spence on the other hand has her own agenda and she’s high jacked the INM for her own self interests. She knows what is going on, she knows Canadians are looking at her and if she truly cared about all Aboriginals, she’d step aside and allow the INM to proceed without her clouding public perception.

    • Chief Spence’s association with Idle No More is a direct product of the movement beginning on the same day as her first day of hunger strike. As a result, a lot of people are associating the two, even though they are very different issues and Spence most certainly is acting upon her own agenda.

      Some people with Idle No More are involved with the explicit intent of furthering support for Chief Spence and the agenda she would like to see fulfilled.

      Many people with Idle No More are involved for a completely different purpose. Most subversive media is astute to declare this observation, but not mainstream white liberal media. My hope is that people who are experienced with media interviews, enough to know what to withhold when directly questioned about things like personal opinions about specific tactics, are able to come forward and get more directly involved in separating these issues.

  6. My voice gets shut down every time I post here (The Idle No More Official facebook page), but what the whole INM states it is about the poorest of the poor, I am not at this moment but I am close to being there and experienced it several times in my lifetime, too many times to count, I fear that (homelessness) everyday, along with being beaten and raped and jobless. You see the truth is while movements get going the waves of negatives ripple down to the poor and jobless, we cannot get jobs now because of the treatment the visible FN’s have spot lighted and Harpers (government) overt racism, the real truth is that the grassroots voice is represented by the Grand Chiefs, and vocal spokes persons, not the real grassroots. There are way to many people speaking from their space and situation not from the poorest of the poor (we are not acceptable)…many of those in poverty do not even know that Idle No More exists they are working on just surviving the day…a few of them have seen Chief Spence and heard her say she is in the same pain many of them are in right now. She is the only one who is their voice, but all this blabber is not, actively present those who don’t fit the Native acceptable image. Get with the guideline and promote human rights many people root for human rights and environmental protects but something has to give…let it be this list of recommendations and move on, peoples lives depend on this movement to make good positive change happen…and I have no idea how all this is gonna happen but it has given people a renewed hope, lets not disappoint, I speak from my heart to yours. Too many movements come and go and not one change for the poorest of the poor ever happens, let INM be the change for all the right reasons!

    • As a person who has not only been visibly homeless twice, but spent more than two years out of the past ten in a transient state between invisible homelessness and repeatedly packing my entire life up and moving every month or two months, I agree. That’s why I took the risk of publishing this letter.

  7. Pingback: An Open Letter To Jessica Gordon & Sylvia McAdam | Septembergoddess's Weblog

  8. Some very important concerns are raised. I respect you for this, altho I don’t think this was their intention. Sylvia and Jessica are very humble women. Its probably not easy for them .

  9. We got no time to bicker who did what first as long as the messege is out there and keep supporting each other we all know we been screwed by the govt. Let’s get the messege out there. Personally I been told in the past it is educated people who are going to break us and this is happening now all the poeple who speak there own language have heard this from there own people elders its been foretold in any first nation language my mother and father told me and there parents and elders told them. Not saying education is bad, it is not being used the right way, money is everything nowadays I see it everywhere there hardly see any people go to any sacred ceromonies that go non existance to thousands and thousande of first nation, I only see 60 or so to a sundance. We need to get back to our ways and let our leaders do the talking for us as they were chosen and we should support them like in the past this is myron checkosis from Littlepine First Nation, Saskatchewan.

  10. Cogent argument Haifishg…etc…you take it from here….seems you are exactly what the movement has been waiting for….the settler with the answers….where do we sign up????

  11. I’ve just added the following update:

    Update: Since posting this in the late evening on January 13th, Sylvia McAdam’s most recent interview with the CBC has been released, and she has declared a boycott on further interviews with the CBC as a result of how her statements and sentiments were deliberately and maliciously misrepresented to undermine the Idle No More movement (see paragraph starting with “No one from white liberal media outlets is knocking on my door…”).

    I strongly recommend for everyone reading this (as there are a lot of you) that they take this experience to heart and encourage organizers in their communities to choose individual people as representatives to engage with media at rallies, flash mobs, and other demonstrations. Community members should also be instructed (often — i.e., more than just once in the beginning of the demonstration, as many people continue to arrive throughout at many of these) to direct news reporters to those appointed representatives for statements.

  12. Just noticed I’ve been removed from the “official” Idle No More group on Facebook (which is about a month old), some time today.

    Admins for the group include the following people:

    Nina Was’te
    Jess Gordon
    Sylvia McAdam Saysewahum
    Sheelah McLean
    Leena Minifie (one of the commenters here, who has made fairly egregious personal attacks against me, both on the Facebook group and in these comments)
    Amanda Orum
    Leslie Gordon
    & Lynette Gordon

    Fascinating.

    • Well it appears you’re starting your own movement.
      You’re right there have been others who have not been Idle through the years, but did they ever get this kind of support, not only in Canada, but around the world.

      This is about the legislations that are going to effect all FNS, and C-45 all Canadians, I thought it was good to start that way, and now more emphasis on the other laws making their way through the HofC or senate.
      Having the teach ins etc. great way to teach all people what INM is about.
      Lets stay away from petty politics, and stick with the issues.

    • Taanshi! Well, if you have been taken off the “official site”, why don’t you come on over to “Unite the Underground”? We were Unite Idle No More Video, but being open to discussion about a variety of strategies and tactics we decided it was prudent to change our name…. We are a virtual place for a diverse group of self-affiliating people come to share with each other in the hope that we can help move the “shared agenda” (?!) of FNMI and their allies forward.

  13. this sounds like a bully addressing someone he does not like, and do you know why i think this? not because of what you are saying but because of your arrogant condescending way of addressing someone you want to listen to you -( which makes it a very unpleasant task right of the bat) is very annoying. I personally have had enough of being talked down to…perhaps thats just your way but consider this: in an equal society everyone has the right to thier own point of view, so rarely will views match completely, and if not kindness then a mutually respectful attitude towards these different views is needed in order to have peace and progress in an society of “equality”. If we cannot respect each other we cannot work together efficiently. Our focus will be compromised, our positions will become ones of defense rather than contemplation. just sayin’ Do you want to fight or find a solution? Do you want cooperation or the enforcement of your beliefs? these are questions meant to help our people. A house divided will fall.

    • I think you’ve mistaken offering criticism for being antagonistic. It is not my problem if you are unable to distinguish between these two things, as there are bigger issues at work here than someone being made to feel uncomfortable because of the tone they perceive in a string of words on a screen.

    • Well as someone who has been the brunt of arrogant and devisive remarks from a member of INM, Rhiannon…this blogger hardly sounds arrogent. . . .

  14. Even better yet, in McAdam’s own words (emphasis added):

    “TO ALL ORGANIZERS & SUPPORTERS OF INM:
    Please be aware of media from here on. They will now focus on INM to work against the movement. I suggest we all stay away from making comments to them. I personally will NOT be making any more comments to them especially CBC. I’m going to sleep and focus INM vision…. NOTHING is going to stop me from that, not even that letter that is going around and being posted. I have no time for negativity nor ego.

    SO tomorrow lets all work harder towards that beautiful hope and dream of Indigenous sovereignty and protection of land and water. Thank you everyone for your kindness and support.”

    Promoting open dialogue by refusing to engage. That’ll work.

  15. Pingback: “That Letter” | HaifischGeweint

  16. I appreciate the 4 women that started the Idle No More movement. And, I don’t agree with this Bloggers insults. But, this is an interesting Blog that everyone should read. It would make sense minus all of the Blogger’s insults to the women involved. Some of the Bloggers comments and ideas are valid.

  17. ok you had the floor, chose your battle, supporters of INM who support life for all through intent, it’s not about one person getting thier feelings hurt by being talked down too, in your own words.. the world has heard you, May God Bless you, HIY hiy

  18. Personally, I am happy, and now we know there is no turning back. Blinders are off, and whoever was behind that, kudus. The real work has nothing to do with anyone, least of all Sylvia and Jess who were there when the greatest development ever to happen, happened.

    Our work has never taken a break, and now that a bit of light is shining around, albeit, like a lighthouse light in a storm, it’s there, and we get a flicker of it on what we are doing, and some have seen. They see a bunch of once-carefree ordinary folks, now turned warriors, grappling with an industry that kills and its minions enslaved.

    Perhaps, it could have been a some-kind-of-deity that came forth and blasted a foghorn for all I care, BUT, the thing is, we cannot stop, and let things die down. Or we die!

  19. I am part of a group that decided to walk 850 km in the summer of 2011 to unite north and south Saskatchewan in opposing nuclear waste coming to our Dene, Cree and Metis traditional territories. We had no idea how soon it would quickly become much larger than ourselves, with international attention and requests for media interviews from many different outlets. I humbly admit we learned from experience that when talking to media, as Haifischgeweint alludes to, every single word coming out of our mouths has the potential to either help, or harm, our cause. Media’s job is to appeal to as many people as possible, and towards that end it will put a spin on whatever you don’t absolutely nail down. Also, your opponents will cheerfully take up any ammunition you throw their way, and promptly use it against you, so don’t give them any! This blogger (although a bit sarcastic) is giving very good advice, simply: before talking to media, arm yourself with a clear, brief message that can do nothing but advance your cause, and stick to it.

  20. Hey Haifishg…etc…why an open letter???….because a confidential -(to Jessica and Sylvia alone) type letter would not have shown the world the brilliance that is YOU??? com’n…Haiseee…..whose ego needs checking here????

  21. Pingback: Groupthink And Grassroots Don’t Mix | HaifischGeweint

  22. As crazy as this might sound, I’m following Chief through the window. I hear your message and thank you for your words of wisdom. He who controls the press controls the message. On the other hand, and as maddening as it seems (in the literal sense) there may in fact be benefit from those episodes of chaotic internecine strife. With each battle and the attending discord we adapt and become stronger. I heard someone say the other day at a “demonstration” otherwise known as a “peaceful blockade” and not to be confused with a “round dance” or “flash mob”; ‘we didn’t ask to be identified with idlenomore. We are doing our own thing’. Were they peacefulNomore, OgitchitalessNomore, or just pissedoffAllthemore? 200 years ago, the Indigenous peoples aided Canada in defeating the American’s not by rationally lining up in long rows and on bended knee as was the case with the white armies but by spontaneous unpredictable outbursts of spirited assault on their enemies at every opportunity from the bushes no less. Unbeknownst to them, the mainstream press through their attempts to confuse and deter unity may in fact be exciting the very forces which will lead to their destruction. idleNomore is about restoration of jurisdiction; the founders would know that because they are all lawyers. What they perhaps do not realize being the rational types they were all schooled to be is that this epic journey has been blowing in the wind for quite some time and has a ways to go yet. I suppose you could say that its just another ceremonial interlude that punctuates the multi-generational fires. As I said, as coocoo as it sounds, when the time comes I am following the crazy Chief out the window and see what happens from there.

    • As crazy as it may sound, I’m prepared to renounce all associations with the colonial government if and when I am called to do so. I’m prepared to take enormous risk upon myself in the name of this movement and all it stands for — if and when I am called to do so — to defend the future generations’ rights to clean drinking water and the right to exist and perpetuate their original cultures, because my blood relations aren’t multiplying in my generation, but actually terminating. I can afford to take those risks, if and when the time comes, for the people who have children to protect. Crazy as that may sound.

  23. wait7/tansi/greetings,
    may we thank you- we are to help and speak freely and share the best of all our gifts for the benevolence of all , commerce free- in the treaty called- wampum/peace pipe – noahs ark isis etc solomons seal- the law – great law of peace, in love and unity? we are the white tribes secwepemc international bear( star nations sirius clan mother-my land – we are from the 1st world by laws free and savage- outside of the gov’t in the 2nd worldaround sinixt nations and now in saskatoon helping…1. there are no treaty signed by us 2. these are .#’s treaties- for those not practicing original creators – international hague filed laws- these took bribes of cash and left and we placed into pow camps- bands/reserves and then numbered and enslaved. we do not have this in our territory in the sinixt nations by revelstoke -nakusp to nelson. we have bear clan laws there with a flag back to atlantis..3. theresa spence is not a chief appointed by us- she is steven harpers ( and a public-private person in the 2nd world caste system) has her paid employee- ytd ~ $71,000 fiat debt notes in a 3 rd world class caste system.. suggest if you really wish to learn freedom and learn tribal law look at ” meredith quinn tribal laws and the aboriginal land canada on youtube ane then start putting you correct and more truthful information you could accomplish more …3. we who can be solarian and breatharains can go for years- decades without food or water- well known- 4. this is about only 13 bloodlines and we come off one- the skin is color irrevalent – you better be color blind here- as we are all related!! thanks- shalom/ lim lich megwich :karen-ann -lucyk macdonald

  24. –each should be self empowered- loving yourself and land- water etc.. and not taking baby-sitting money bribes from the system and get off the grid/matrix/system.. we do not use it..each area could easily have their own types of clan kangen waters/grow own foods indoors- become eco villages to gift and free trade again- magnetic- wind solar and other forms of electricity and use the raw living foods to eat instead of the dead poisoned processed monsato-thisis worse and more effective than smallpox in blankets-the drugs are in the colonized food water plants herbs now foods being used mostly…law of attraction is it?? or use this as a stepping stone to create a shift of change… :karen-ann :lucyk macdonald suggest connecting to tim phillips- coming to light the fires – enlighten a few people…on facebook/eagle.eye.man@hotmail.com touring jasper- winnipeg areas now

  25. Pingback: Race/Ethnicity Just Isn’t Simple » The Crommunist Manifesto

  26. omg! you hit it smacked it slapped it bang on the head girl! i loved it! may i videotape a reading of it? if not me, you! do it. some people read, others listen &/or watch. just a suggestion. great article. really deserves to be read, heard across Canada, worldwide. thank you for standing in your personal power of Truth. so rewarding to witness. i’m grateful & humbled. more warrior power to you!

    hey i’m on the island too! come visit me anytime!

    Life before profit. love always…

    • I have no problems with people posting videos of reading my blog posts, as long as I’m credited for the writing at least once.

      One guy even read a long succession of half-sentences at a time, interrupting himself with critiques of what I had written before finishing each passage he had chosen, and went on like this for ten minutes in a YouTube video. I hadn’t laughed so hard all Summer.

      I’d be flattered if it was actually a serious reading, though, haha

      • honestly i am serious – dedicated to creating the most powerful effective in-the-moment channeling of Spirit in spoken word, like a consummate actress i’ll strive To Be – “All the World’s A Stage…” my theater company, making art – your art – happen anywhere out there… i say we bring it right here. right now… okay maybe i’ll wait to film it tomorrow (w/ permission granted of course!) we set the intentions for the highest good of All in the Spirit of Divine Unconditional Love and so it is… meegwetch! love always…

  27. I’d now added the following update to the bottom, in case you’ve missed it:

    Update 2.0: Today, an absolutely mind-boggling series of blockades went up as part of a national day of action, from as early as sunrise, all across the country. Great work, grassroots! Keep it going! The “Idle No More Four” have now sent out a mass email, to potentially tens of thousands of their “followers”, in which they declared they don’t stand by radical indigenous grassroots. This was done sometime today (Jan 16th).

  28. Why do you think you can comment on these issues. It always amazes me that arrogance and ignorance of some white women when they attempt to infiltrate our communities. We are a people who share a common prehistory, history and future. We feel our unity on the basic issues which in this situation is genocidal. The problem with the legislation C-45 is previous to this Bill land surrenders were valid when 50% plus 1 was the standard. Now, the minister may call a land surrender meeting with as little as 3 people if it passes, another meeting has to be held in one month, ifit passes there, the land is gone..keep to the issues..you have no understanding of what been happening in our communities to provoke”idle no more”. I applaud the four founders. It took courage to what they have done. I also Chief Spence is now negatively impacting the movement and think she should start eating and step our of the limelight. Chiefs like her are the reason we have “Idle no More”.

  29. Thank you for your thoughtful insights. You are a wonderful ally and a very brave woman. I once read that when you criticize or try to correct something, it is because you care. When you don’t do this you just don’t care anymore. I wish people with big egos would see this instead of pushing people away. Listening and taking in what is being said can change many things.

    We need allies like you. We need people who aren’t afraid to speak their minds no matter what and no matter how many times they are shunned.

    There is always room for growth for everyone.

  30. For someone who pretends to be humble, you’re sure full of yourself. That letter starts off casting insults, and continues to dictate how they should have done their jobs better. You have a lot of nerve, as a privileged white settler, nosing into an Indigenous-based movement and declaring yourself as traffic-controler. For someone who just posted self-made video’s of yourself explaining colonialism, you sure breach your own sentiments.

    Indigenous people (and especially women) have enough on their plate, without having to deal with someone who’s pompous and self righteous.

    If you’ve been kicked out of the Idle No More Facebook group, my guess is that you haven’t learned anything about respecting Indigenous peoples in their spaces of dissent. Instead of getting angry and retorting a nasty reply to this, perhaps you could spend your time contemplating why you care so much – and why, if you care so much, can you not let others have the floor from time to time.

    To put it bluntly: When someone who’s indigenous disagrees with you about a subject that is indigenous, and you just happen to be trolling an online space that was created specifically for indigenous dissent, maybe it’s time to back off.

    Of course – white privilege means you don’t have to consider how your actions hurt others. The comment above is specific about how your letter is offensive and hurtful. I think it sucks that you choose to cover your ears. Try listening from the heart, instead of just your ego.

    • Ah-huh. Sure. You won the whole internet with that “argument”. That’s what you were trying to accomplish this time, right?

      Like every other time you’ve only commented on things you care to dispute on the basis of my ethnic heritage?

      • Though I have no idea what your ethnic heritage is, I can tell you that we both have white skin. The main difference between us is that I don’t feel it’s my role or right as a white settler, to invade indigenous spaces or publish letters to better instruct them on how to run their own movement.

        From everything you’ve written on colonialism and racism, I’m actually very surprised that you overlooked the fact that you might be behaving within the very stereotypical frame you’re so often vocal against.

        Does it make you happy to know that you’ve upset a few Indigenous people? I would have believed you to be wiser than that…sure you have the applause of some, but it’s obvious that others found it insulting, offensive and hurtful. Have you no shame?

        I wouldn’t even bother posing this question to you, if I didn’t find most of your articles fascinating.

        White people don’t belong in the position of telling Indigenous peoples how to run their own movement, how to feel, or how to think. If we aren’t going to say something supportive, we should stay silent. It’s a simple form of respect.

        • It’s fascinating to me that, despite your mention of the two (just two) videos I just published yesterday, which are just two minutes long each, and during one of which I actually plainly state my ethnic heritage, that you still don’t know who I am.

          Do you even know who you are?

          P.S. The “Idle No More Four” are now running their own movement, and it is clearer with each passing day that this is what they have been doing from the very start. They certainly aren’t running a movement everyone else is busy participating in. I show my support by offering this critique of a tactic that is treated like it’s immune from criticism because self-appointed leaders are the ones engaging in it. From your criticisms, it’s clear you haven’t even read the entry, so I don’t know what purpose you think this “conversation” serves.

          • Fascinating that you don’t understand this:

            White settler knows he’s a guest in this land, publishes video’s to explain why settler isn’t a bad word, and to explain colonialism to those who don’t get it – and is the same white settler who doesn’t care that his letter was viewed by certain Indigenous peoples as offensive, insulting, invasive and unwelcome.

            I can’t believe you were removed from Idle No More official page, unless you were using ad hominen language (often seen here), and attacking Indigenous peoples in their safe space of dissent. The last thing any Indigenous person needs is some white person telling them how to think, feel, or act.

            For the record – I read your letter. It is full of insult and instruction. You have a lot of nerve claiming to be in solidarity with Indigenous peoples, when you can so easily turn around and preach to them as if they are lacking intelligence.

            I’ll check back next month. I usually hit you up about once a month. I honestly DO find your blog very interesting – and I hope you’ll consider what I’m trying to get across. I’ve worked with First Nations for a really long time – and have had a lot of personal stories shared with me, and I know for a fact that it’s humiliating and de-humanizing for them when white people give them instructions…(even when you mean well).

            • btw – no, I don’t remember what part of the “white” world you hail from – though I’m sure you mentioned it. It’s not really what I was interested in – I was more interested in what you had to say about the subject. My family comes from all over Europe, I’m a pure-blood Heinz 57…..

            • So, your argument then is “Some people find this offensive, therefore, that in mind as well as your skin colour, you’re just wrong.”

              Have I got that about right? Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of indigenous people have been commenting here too, and expressing agreement with much of what I’ve published. At least two of them are Elders.

              Just some food for thought for you there.

              Ooh, lucky me! You’ll come back yet again!

              • I haven’t actually said anything about whether or not I agree with your letter – my disappointment lies in the fact that you’re a settler who knows a lot about racism, yet you don’t care about the people you’ve hurt.

                I’ve worked with First Nations for a very long time, and know a lot of elders – and I’m well aware of the fact that they all have their own opinions on politics, racism, history, as well as various ideas about solutions and tactics – and I’m also aware of the fact that those who have been subjected to a lot of racism and abuse suffer when white people criticize them – like a trigger (which I’m sure you know something about). Do you want to trigger those spaces????

                At least think about it.

                It’s not about being wrong (in your opinion) – it’s about considering the ethics of criticizing people who have been subjected to centuries of abuse. It’s evident that some people are hurt by your letter – and obviously you touched a nerve with someone if you got removed from the official INM group.

  31. btw – I don’t regularly comment on ANY blog – so you might be amused or take it as a compliment that I bother to comment at all here…our last conversation was about FGC/FGM if I remember correctly….

  32. Sad face :(

    Of all people – I thought you would understand my position

    Let Indigenous peoples criticize their leaders and comrades.

    They’ve all had enough systemic crap from us white folks

    Alas – you are out there with your actions of dissent against
    Indigenous voices. That is truly unfortunate, regardless of
    who agrees with you – you are STILL a white, privileged
    individual who demands respect whilst seeking control.

  33. To suggest that any of this is “your fault” is ridiculous and akin to wearing your heart on your sleeve. You know better than this. I happen to think of you as an intellectual who just needs to curb your anger a little, in the face of diplomacy – but you are making me feel angry.

    None of this is “your fault” – but you need to own the fact that you are participating in white power-plays, when you criticize Indigenous peoples. Their own people have enough knives on the table, which is causing division.

    And you want to add to that?

    Bah – Humbug!

  34. Don’t worry – I won’t return to experience further frustration.

    I have accepted the fact that you will need to celebrate these epiphanies on your own terms, because there isn’t a soul on earth who can inspire you to budge from your stubborn and privileged position.

    You are your only keeper – while it’s evident that you spend a lot of time hoping to encourage “thinking” – it would seem you have identified yourself as a lone island that is impossible to reach…

    With everything you’ve written – it’s astounding to me, that you don’t understand how you trespass through indigenous narratives.

  35. This halffish must be a metis or at the very least a billionth breed aka the mosquito tribe as in a mosquito bit an indian than bit him or her..unfortunately what lil bit of hereditary and traditional knowledge that existed in that minisule amount of Indian blood was not transferred to halfwit’s psyche..The metis who are not and never have been indigenous people no matter how many whitemen courts say so are not part of the origins of this movement, but like all INDIAN ACT elected chiefs have used this forum to push their own illegitimate claims much like halkf azz has in his lame billionth breed version of the mein kampf…and obviously much akin to the teapot calling the kettle black spouts off his/her or its own agenda which appears to be as ego driven as he states the co-foudners of INM appear to be..like Atleo and other breeds like Nepinak., halfsquirnt seems as ignorant about the true foundation of the treaties and their corresponding Indigenous laws as the corrupt and inept fools do at the AFN along with their associate provincial morons…as has bene stated previously..the contraversuial and confrontational manner of any and all non-Indigenous media is well at play here..and is to be expected as the status quo is challenged

  36. Pingback: Idle No More, Copyrights, Trademarks, & Internalized Colonialism | HaifischGeweint

  37. Pingback: Turmoil & Trademark | HaifischGeweint

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