4 January 2013
Dr DEREK WALL, International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales, has stated Green Party support for the protest movement which is growing fast in Canada against the removal of indigenous rights. He urges Green Party members to learn more about Idle No More and to promote solidarity with Idle No More activists.
"The Idle No More movement of First Nations and their non-indigenous supporters is sweeping Canada. The movement which is using non violent direct action to protest against Steven Harper's Conservative Government's threat to break treaty rights and to seize indigenous land to make way for Tar Sands' dirty oil, demands international thanks and global solidarity. Indigenous peoples are at the forefront of action against Tar Sands and other projects that accelerate climate change.
"Stephen Harper's government is assaulting all of us on this planet with its suicidal drive to open up the hyper polluting Tar Sands which will accelerate climate change http://peopleandplanet.org/tarsands. His actions too are sadly part of a long history of theft from indigenous people and broken treaty agreements. The Idle No More movement is about respect not just for indigenous peoples but respect for our global environment and future generations.
"Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat must be thanked for her brave action of fasting until Stephen Harper agrees to meet her. The treaty agreements that he seeks to break were made by Britain and we in the Green Party urge Queen Elizabeth II, who is head of state in Canada, to maintain them."
The leader of Canada's Green Party, Elizabeth May, has praised Chief Theresa Spence's action and called for solidarity. The Green Party of England and Wales echoes her call and Green Party members will be taking part in solidarity actions with Idle No More in the UK (details can be found on facebook here https://www.facebook.com/update_security_info.php?wizard=1#!/events/458961510829311/?fref=ts
Indigenous people have had their land stolen, their economies wrecked, they have often been plunged into misery and extreme social dislocation, Idle No More is a form of resistance that is already a renaissance for the First Nations.'
Calling for all Canadians to support Idle No More the leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May MP said '
“Harper’s record on Aboriginal Affairs is dishonourable. The C-45 Omnibus bill included legislative changes detrimental to First Nations. I tabled amendments to ensure that the definition of aboriginal fisheries was fully respectful of First Nations and aboriginal treaties and inherent rights.
“Furthermore, our amendments on the Navigable Waters Protection Act would have ensured the on-going protection of rights to navigation for Aboriginal people, and all Canadians, on all water bodies in Canada, and not just 62 rivers and 97 lakes. The government defeated all the amendments we put forward...First Nations members have every right to be angry at Harper’s Conservatives”
The Idle No More manifesto which can be found at http://idlenomore.com/ states:
We contend that:
The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between First Nations and the British Crown who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources. Instead, First Nations have experienced a history of colonization which has resulted in outstanding land claims, lack of resources and unequal funding for services such as education and housing.
We contend that:
The state of Canada has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by using the land and resources. Canadian mining, logging, oil and fishing companies are the most powerful in the world due to land and resources. Some of the poorest First Nations communities (such as Attawapiskat) have mines or other developments on their land but do not get a share of the profit. The taking of resources has left many lands and waters poisoned – the animals and plants are dying in many areas in Canada. We cannot live without the land and water. We have laws older than this colonial government about how to live with the land.
We contend that:
Currently, this government is trying to pass many laws so that reserve lands can also be bought and sold by big companies to get profit from resources. They are promising to share this time…Why would these promises be different from past promises? We will be left with nothing but poisoned water, land and air. This is an attempt to take away sovereignty and the inherent right to land and resources from First Nations peoples.
We contend that:
There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well. We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them.
Please join us in creating this vision.