Published January 30, 2013
Movement challenges a violation of rightsJOHN GATES
The Idle No More movement shows no signs of letting down given the level of indigenous activism that took place recently across Canada. The Seattle Times reported hundreds of supporters conducted civil disobedient actions at border crossings, on rail lines, and across highways from Victoria to Quebec. Protestors and their supporters’ worldwide demand that Canada rescind amendments which compromise environmental laws, undermine treaties, and tilt the scales of policy decision-making toward more and more resource extraction. The decision to ignore its treaty obligations to First Nations, and amend without prior consultation Canada’s Indian Act, is in clear violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Canada and the United States both are signatories to. The Idle No More movement and its supporters appear to be giving concrete notice that Canada’s actions which ignore the human rights norms of prior, willful and informed consent will not go unchallenged. Idle No More supporters here in Olympia and the Northwest who recently gathered in public places to show their support for their First Nation brothers and sisters celebrate their courage and determination.