It’s been a year now since the Idle No More movement began, and in that year, a lot of co-opting of the movement has gone on. It’s gone on to the point where, if you ask Joe or Jane Q. Public, they will give you a number of opinions about what Idle No More is, most of which it isn’t.
To help people pare the definition of what the Idle No More movement is about, I went back to the beginning so what the Idle No More movement could be clearly understood today.
Idle No More is a grassroots movement
While the movement is led by Indigenous people, it is not just for Indigenous people. Those who involve themselves in the Idle No More movement are from all four corners of the world. All living things benefit from water: humans, animals, plants. This is why it is a movement that embraces all who wish to involve themselves in it.
Idle No More is about the rights of Indigenous peoples
The movement is also about government bills that the Canadian government continues to impose on Indigenous people, and that will effectively terminate Treaties and strip Indigenous nations of their sovereignty.
Idle No More is about education
The movement has always been a peaceful movement … the main point that the grassroots organizers have reminded people about over the months. It is not about violent opposition. There is power in knowledge, more so than in violence. There is power in unity. And there is power in eradicating racism and oppression through education and action.
Idle No More is about economic development
What the Idle No More movement does not support is harmful economic development because that kind of economic development does not work in concert with the environment. Destruction of the environment spells the destruction of all living things. For example, rather than go with immediate solutions to the energy issue, the Idle No More movement encourages people, businesses, corporations, and governments to work towards using long-term energy solutions that are less harmful to the environment.
Moving into the second year of the Idle No More movement, it is important to continue to focus on what Idle No More is about and to act accordingly. For true change to happen, these four points must always be at the heart of all that we do in the name of the Idle No More movement.