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Idle No More Against Bill C-45
Since Early October 2012, the passage of Bill C-45 in Canada has caused a huge response by First Nations
Bill C-45 is an omnibus bill, developed, promoted and passed by the Stephen Harper government that deregulates the use of many former protected lakes, rivers and parks in Canada as well as moving to eliminate the reservation system and assimilate the First Nations into the general population. This means that many formerly protected regions are now open for mining and harvesting that has riled the environmental movements. Some of these formerly protected areas are in First Nations Reserves and the removal of these regions from protection also means that First Nations barriers also have to be removed. Among these are regions in the path of the proposed Enbidge=Keystone pipeline that is being pushed from the Alberta Tarsands to the Pacific Coast in the Salish Sea. Part of the assimilation means that the last of the old ways are also on the chopping block as natives are assimilated to take their place at the bottom of what they regard as a colonialist imperialist order as little more than slaves working the lowest paid, dirtiest, unhealthy and most dangerous jobs that no one else wants. There has been a suggestion that residential schools have been closed since 1996, but First Nations people beg to differ.
The Idle No More (INM) movement sprung up and flash mobbed malls, railways, boarder, city halls and other places to get noticed by media, traditional and non-traditional. This flash mob formed in front of CBC News, Vancouver, BC, a major media outlet for Canada. This video shows a side of the INM movement that is often overlooked by the big media. Here we see the introductory smudging and purification ceremony followed by a song prayer to the Creator. This follows speakers who explain why INM is necessary. Many groups stand in support of INM and none are claiming copyright protection. It is unfortunate that one of the major video upload sites has chosen to censor some videos, allegedly for infringement of copyrighted material when there is a general release because of the newsworthiness of the unfolding events as they happen on the ground. No one is claiming copyright privileges in this instance among many others, simply because they want their side to get out into the public domain.
The First Nations have a long history of struggle going back half a millennium against the incursion of the oncoming colonialists from all parts of Europe. They first Europeans were greeted in peace and even assisted in their survival, but this peace was increasingly met with hostility, ostensibly on religious grounds of blasphemy and other charges due to the worship by the First Nations of what was claimed to be idols and devils. But beneath this facade was a bid for land in a program of lebensraum and resources the were plentiful in this "virgin" land described as uninhabited except by savages. What started in peace, led to violence and then genocide. Treaty after treaty was made and broken. Today, with the occupying European descendants, a handful of First Nations and mixed breeds, the treaty process is now being abandoned for full assimilation. Struggles for rights to life and human rights waged throughout the period with notable instances in more recent times such as Seven Oaks, Wounded Knee, Oka, Gestafesan Lake and other confrontations. Idle No More is just the most recent development in a long history of struggle.