Oct 7, 2013 - #Oct7 Proclaim, Indigenous Resistance and the Battle for Mother Earth by Matt Remle
“OUR PEOPLE AND OUR MOTHER EARTH CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO BE ECONOMIC HOSTAGES IN THE RACE TO INDUSTRIALISE OUR HOMELANDS. IT’S TIME FOR OUR PEOPLE TO RISE UP AND TAKE BACK OUR ROLE AS CARETAKERS AND STEWARDS OF THE LAND.” — Eriel Deranger Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations
Last December, a ground swell of Indigenous activism from 1st Nations communities exploded onto the international scene. Concern for the environment, Mother Earth, and the further erosion of Indigenous treaty rights through the omnibus bill C-45, via the ultra conservative Canadian Government led by Stephen Harper, brought 1st Nations communities and allies into the streets in mass. The spark was lit and the Idle No More movement erupted with mass demonstrations, hunger strikes, marches, and solidarity efforts from Indigenous communities from around the globe.
Throughout much of the winter and into spring Turtle Island was alive with the sounds of flash mod round dances and coastal jams as public spaces, and malls in particular, were scenes of massive gatherings of Native peoples and allies expressing both solidarity for our 1st Nations relatives, as well as, high lighting issues pertinent to local communities.
Idle No More march and rally
I had the opportunity to attend, and help coordinate, several flash mob round dances in and around the Seattle region. From the smallest to the largest of gatherings, each and everyone were beautiful scenes of indigenous expression and reawakening.
Whether addressing the tar sands, and any one of its numerous pipelines, the proposed massive coal exports in the Northwest, the destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing, or the erosion and attacks on indigenous rights, Native peoples from across Maka Ina are rising up in mass to defend mother earth, protect their homelands, and ensure the well being of the next generations.
Multinational corporations and banksters see no boundaries, have no political affiliation and possess no concern for the environment, the people, or the welfare of future generations. Corporate agendas see only profit and seek to amass it through their bought and paid for politicians in the various puppet governments throughout the world.
One need look no further than the so called “Permanent Participants”, represented by the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the U.S. as a prime example. Instead of working to combat the impacts of global warming, these countries have been meeting regarding the future development of the Arctic region due to the new found exposure of “resources” due to global warming.
To these countries and their corporate sponsors climate change is real, a real opportunity to further exploit earth’s resources for profit.
Corporate abuses on the environment and the devastating health and cultural impacts on human populations, as well as, the negative impacts too mother earths other wakanyeja (children), are well documented. Well documented too, are the ways in which corporations and their governments work collectively to distract and divert populations from expressing and acting against their destructive practices. Idle No More is but one of the many ways in which people of consciousness, the children of earth, are rising up against these exploits brought by the children of profit.
Far from fizzling out, like other recent movements, Idle No More expanded and joined with Defenders of the Land, a network of Indigenous communities, leaders, and activists involved in high-profile struggles to defend their land rights, in the spring in calling for further actions throughout the spring and summer to be dubbed “Solidarity Spring” and “Sovereignty Summer.” Actions included high profile blockades against hydraulic fracturing companies, as well as, calls for evictions to corporations operating in tribal lands.
Clayton Thomas-Muller, with the Indigenous Environmental Network, at a Tar Sands healing march
The summer also saw tribal communities organizing against the KXL pipeline through the Moccasins on the Ground direct action trainings, highway blockades against tar sands bound equipment through Nez Perce lands, healing rides against the proposed Enbridge pipeline expansions, and numerous demonstrations against the proposed coal exports from the Powder River basin to the Northwest.
Indigenous resistance continues as we move into the fall with Idle No More calling for a Global Day of Action on October 7th.
From Idle No More organizers:
“Idle No More has called for a Global Day of Action on Oct 7 – #Oct7Proclaim October 7, 1763, marked the signing of the British Royal Proclamation, a historic document that legally mandated Canada to recognize Indigenous land rights. 250 years later, on October 7, 2013… Idle No More calls on all peoples to raise (y)our voices and take action in support of:– Our Land — Our Water — Our Bodies — Our Stories — Our Future — Indigenous Sovereignty! Oct 7 is also the day that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Professor James Anaya, will begin an official visit to Canada to examine the human rights situation of the indigenous peoples of the country. Proclaim the importance of Indigenous Sovereignty! Stand up and be heard this October 7, 2013!”
For generations, our ancestors have continuously stood against colonial empires and their corporate agendas. They fought on the battlefields, in the courtrooms, on the streets, through prayers and ceremonies all in attempt to maintain who and what we are as a peoples, peoples who understand that we are children of earth who are relatives to all relations and hold a responsibility to our relatives in the balancing and maintaining of life itself.
It is not an overstatement that mother earth is in peril. Someday, our future generations will look back and ask what their relatives did for them. It is our choice, remain silent and lost in mass consumerism and the trappings of pop culture, or sing the songs of our ancestors and resist the multinational corporate, bankster, military industrial complex, empire building agenda and live as we were meant to live as children of earth fulfilling our responsibilities to all creation. The spirits of our ancestors are watching, our future generations are waiting.
Wakinyan Waanatan (Matt Remle)
“State of the Nations”
A Film by 4350866301
The Royal Proclamation of 1763: 250 Years Later