I attended a lecture today about the Idle No More movement and I realized just how oblivious I am about Aboriginal issues in Canada.
Idle No More is a grassroots movement that began as an email exchange between four aboriginal activists in Saskatchewan last fall. Their discussions focused on Bill C-45, a 400-page bill passed in December 2012 by the Canadian government that made changes to the Indian Act, the Navigation Protection Act and the Environment Assessment Act, among others. Worried how these changes would affect them and their treaty rights, the activists organized a rally in Saskatoon peacefully protesting the bill. Since then, the movement has caught fire, spreading rapidly and prominently around the country.
I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the government bills, documentation or policy that is driving the current protests, but I’ve read news columns, blogs and have regularly monitored the comments being made on Facebook. Based on all of this, it seems that these bills are all part of the latest attempt to assimilate Aboriginal people into a system of private property and wage labor. And since this is the case, I can understand why people think Stephen Harper is a humongous asshole. How is this still happening in this day and age?! It’s baffling.
You can watch this lecture here