FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2013
Media contacts: Clayton Thomas-Muller – 613.297.7515 / Jess Gordon – firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada – Idle No More’s founders and its chapters across the country have issued a call to build mounting pressure, including through mass non-violent direct actions to be joined by non-natives, to challenge “the Harper government and the corporate agenda.”
The declaration, jointly released with Defenders of the Land, a network of Indigenous communities, leaders, and activists involved in high-profile struggles to defend their land rights, calls for a “Solidarity Spring” to precede a “Sovereignty Summer,” with actions on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, Earth Day on April 22, and through the summer.
“The Harper government’s agenda is clear: to weaken all collective rights and environmental protections, in order to turn Canada into an extraction state that gives corporations unchecked power to destroy our communities and environment for profit,” reads the statement .
“Harper is trying to extinguish Indigenous Peoples’ inherent, Aboriginal, and treaty rights to their territories because these rights are the best and last protection for all Canadians,” said Arthur Manuel, a spokesperson for Defenders of the Land.
“Across the country, people are increasingly supporting First Nations who are trying to protect lands, waters, and air for everyone,” said Sylvia McAdam, one of the founders of Idle No More.
The demands of Idle No More and Defenders of the Land include a repeal of sections of the now passed Bill C-45 that impact the environment along with Aboriginal and treaty rights; changing the electoral system to proportional representation; ensuring consultation happens before any legislation is introduced that impacts collective rights and the environment; the full implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; an end to the government’s policies of “extinguishment” of Aboriginal title; the full implementation of treaties; and active resistance to violence against women and a national inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women.
Upcoming action days
Nationwide autonomous local protests highlighting the importance of Indigenous rights in combating the Harper and corporate agenda.
A campaign of coordinated non-violent direct actions to promote Aboriginal rights and environmental protection in alliance with non-native supporters.
1. The full statement is available at: www.defendersoftheland.org/sites/www.defendersoftheland.org/files/INM-Defenders Final.pdf
Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.