Robert L. Peters

19 January 2013

Why I Support Idle No More

Winnipeg, Canada

This will not come as a surprise to anyone who knows me — I am a keen supporter of the Idle No More movement that has recently sprung up in Western Canada, spread across North America, and is now being embraced by both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples around the globe.

With her permission, I republish here writer Linda Goyette’s beautifully-written explanation (she writes much better than I do and she posted this on Facebook four days ago) —“I think this is a defining moment in Canadian history, a time when each citizen is asked to make a choice. Where do you stand? Where will your children and grandchildren want you to stand?”

Why I Support Idle No More

I am no longer a journalist, and I do not seek a bully pulpit on any topic, but tonight I want to explain to my family and friends why I give my unqualified support to the Idle No More movement as a Canadian citizen.

I am becoming more and more concerned about the harsh backlash among non-aboriginal Canadians against this peaceful protest movement. I’m not talking exclusively about virulent racial bigotry and hate speech, although it exists in dark places, but more about the willful denial of reality, the blindness to injustice, among many decent people.

These are the people I address tonight. I respect their right to a different opinion, but I hope they will hear me out.

Four Saskatchewan women—Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean and Jessica Gordon—and Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario found the courage to say that a change is going to come. Thousands of indigenous people across Canada are demonstrating in peaceful ways to tell the country that they will wait no longer for that change. When I see round dances in shopping malls, peaceful road blockades, or a chief on a hunger strike, I see an opportunity to learn more about the deep frustration of my neighbours. I see no threat at all.

The protesters are asking for the country I want for myself, and for my family…

Read the rest here (86K PDF).

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