Newsmaker: the Idle No More movement
Published Thursday, December 27, 2012 1:36PM EST
MONTREAL - Alex McComber and Margaret Standup came to CTV Montreal Thursday to explain the Idle No More movement, which has expressed Canadian First Nations' dissatisfaction with a variety of issues and has been best personified by Chief Theresa Spence and her ongoing hunger strike.
The two visited Chief Spence Wednesday in her teepee for 20 minutes and left with a sense that the movement for change is deep-seated.
“It’s something important and serious, it’s not ‘the natives are restless,’” said McComber. “There’s a movement afoot to change the world not just for Native people but for all people.”
The omnibus Bill C-45 is the main catalyst for the protest, which includes controversial provisions dictating land and water use, among other issues.
Margaret Standup credits Chief Spence with being the spark for the movement, as her hunger strike, which began Dec. 11, has attracted considerable attention.
“The movements are really because of her but also everybody has just had enough,” said Standup.
“We want to be recognized and for it to be acknowledged that we’re here and are human beings, we’re coming into a transition where change needs to happen and we need to open up the doors and start talking respectfully and inclusively with the government and all First Nations. Everything has to come to a settlement,” she said.
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence talks with her family and Native American actor Adam Beach as she continues her hunger strike in a teepee on Victoria Island in Ottawa, early Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012. (Cole Burston / THE CANADIAN PRESS)