Idle No More participants share what they hope the movement achieves and what other Canadians should know about it
Nate Buwalda, Edmonton
I would love to see an open forum discussion from one nation (Canada, federally) to another (aboriginal nations), just as some of the original treaties were signed. Autonomy is what aboriginal communities deserve; these communities should have never been wards of the state. It's time for the federal government to stop trying to discredit First Nations leadership, and by doing so discredit aboriginal peoples.
Kandice Baptise, Waterloo, Ont.
As a Mohawk woman I believe it's our duty to protect mother Earth and our unborn children. I am looking to create meaningful change for the future generations. Also hoping to create meaningful and unbiased dialogue across cultures.
Alexander Ervin, Saskatoon
It is non-threatening in a militant sense. It is truly grassroots. It is respectful, non-racist. It has given First Nations youth a sense of purpose and honour. It is not asking for handouts. It has remarkable youthful and feminine leadership that gives us hope for all of Canada.
Jamie Idol, New Brunswick
The importance of this movement is its emphasis on social justice and the engagement of our people in a truly democratic process. There are no leaders, no set agenda, it’s an organic process that grows daily through information sharing, debate and a passion for change that has invigorated many segments of our community. It is important to show our youth that change is possible, that hope is not lost.
Phyllis Racette, Ebb and Flow, Man.
I hope that history will not keep on repeating itself. To end the lack of justice for our missing and murdered women. To unite all indigenous people globally and to stop the raping and pillaging of mother Earth by big business corporations who care nothing other than making money. To educate all Canadians about Bill C-45.
Dan McIsaac, Annapolis Royal, N.S.
I want to remind the government that they are accountable, and that their job is to represent US! They are supposed to be our facilitators, not our masters. I also want issues that affect First Nations to be finally resolved in a good and equitable way.
Emily Claire Gallienne, Toronto
We want people to be aware that the systemic racism, both historical and in our present-day government, has impacted First Nations people in horrific ways. To see so many allied people come forward and give support to the cause, to say "yes, our community INCLUDES you, and your issues are my issue, we are all treaty people" is quite cathartic and moving.
Michael Pealow, Whitehorse
This is a Canadian issue - not just a First Nations issue. It's okay to have an opinion, but don't assume you know what's best for First Nations people. They don't try to tell you what's best for you. Assimilation practices haven't worked in 150 years and they're not going to now. It's time for a new approach.
Sarah Khan, Vancouver
I am indebted to First Nations and the Idle No More movement for putting a spotlight on the environmental harms being brought against this country by Stephen Harper and his cabinet, as I believe that we are going to be stuck cleaning up the mess left by this government for decades to come.
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(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)