International Indian Treaty Council Files Action with UN CERD in Conjunction with Chief Theresa Spence and the Mushkegowuk People of Attawapiskat First Nation

Press release here:

Final Press Release IITC Attawapiskat Feb 18 2013

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Supports Idle No More

Press release:

Press Release – Idle No More

Tribal council resolution:

Resolution No. 13-043

From the press release:

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan has planned a Flash Mob Round Dance for Friday, January 11, 2013, at 1 p.m. on the comers of Broadway and Main streets in Downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in conjunction with peaceful demonstrations entitled Idle No More.

Little River Band Ottawa Passes Resolution in Support of Idle No More

For Immediate Release

LRBOI Supports First Nations Treaty Rights and ‘Idle No More’ (resolution: LRB — Idle No More)
(1.10.13Manistee, MI) The Tribal Council of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has adopted a resolution of international consequence supporting the ‘Idle No More’ movement, as they join with other Tribal Nations and (Canadian) First Nations in calling upon Prime Minister Harper to meet with Chief Spence immediately.
Council Speaker Steve Parsons said that, “We are joining our sister tribes in requesting consultation regarding the Canadian governments recent action passing a law that effectively ends First Nations Treaties and ends protections over 2 million waterways and lakes in Canada.”
On 11 December 2012, Chief Theresa Spence declared a hunger strike intended to focus public attention on First Nations issues, to support the Idle No More indigenous rights movement, and to highlight concerns about the government’s omnibus bill C-45.
The LRBOI Tribal Council also found that enactment of Bill C-45 by the Canadian government diminishes the sovereign authority of First Nations by diminishing protection for sacred lands and waterways in and around First Nations’ lands; lands and waterways that are shared with their tribal Clan Relatives around the Great Lakes.
The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians are signatories to a Great Lakes Water Accord with Great Lakes Basin Native Nations in the US; states bordering the Great Lakes as well as the First Nations of Canada. The accord was signed in December of 2004, when the Tribe agreed to support First Nations on the issues presented with the Idle No More Movement.

Dean Space on Idle No More at Balkinization

Here. An intriguing excerpt:

Movements against colonization raise significant questions for scholars studying the legal regulation of sexuality and family.  The imposition of gender norms and family formation norms and the use of sexual violence as a tool of war have been significant to processes of colonization.  The depiction of cultures and peoples targeted for colonization as “backward” in terms of sexuality and family formation has been a rationalization for colonization, and has often included portraying indigenous women as needing to be saved by the colonizers from their own families and cultures.  These methods and rationalizations are visible in the history of the colonization of North America where the Idle No More movement has been most visible so far, but we can also hear these rationales deployed to justify the war in Afghanistan, proposed war with Iran, and in rationales for Israeli settler colonialism in Palestine.

UN Indigenous Rights Special Rapporteur Calls for Dialogue with Canadian Aboriginal Rights Protesters


An excerpt:

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, urged the Government of Canada and Aboriginal leaders to undertake meaningful dialogue in light of First Nations protests and a month-long hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation.

“I am encouraged by reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has agreed to meet with First Nations Chiefs and leadership on 11 January 2013 to discuss issues related to Aboriginal and treaty rights as well as economic development,” Mr. Anaya said. “Both the Government of Canada and First Nations representatives must take full advantage of this opportunity to rebuild relationships in a true spirit of good faith and partnership.”

The announcement of the meeting followed weeks of protests carried out by Aboriginal leaders and activists within a movement referred to as ‘Idle no more.’ The movement has been punctuated by Chief Spence’s hunger strike that has been ongoing since 11 December 2012. “I would like to add my voice to the concern expressed by many over the health condition of Chief Spence, who I understand will be joining indigenous leaders at this week’s meeting,” the independent expert said.

The protests and hunger strike are carried in the context of complaints about aspects of the relationships between First Nations in Canada and the Government, including in the context of recent federal legislation and executive decisions affecting Aboriginal peoples.

“Dialogue between the Government and First Nations should proceed in accordance with the standards expressed in the UN Declaration* on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” the Special Rapporteur emphasized. Mr. Anaya recalled that the Government affirmed a “commitment to continue working in partnership with Aboriginal peoples and in accordance with a relationship based on good faith, partnership and mutual respect,” in its statement of support for the Declaration on 12 November 2010.

A denigrating and assimilationist opinion piece on the Chief Spence hunger strike from a Canadian media outlet

This opinion piece by Peter Worthington disfavorably compares Chief Spence’s strike with IRA hunger strikes, concluding that Chief Spence’s strike is not genuine like the IRA strikes. It’s disheartening to see that these types of attitudes persist and are still given prominent airing. One has to wonder at the implication that white complaints about colonization are more valid than Native complaints. Is that because it’s somehow considered valid by mainstream standards to colonize Natives, while it’s anomalous to colonize whites?