The Importance of the #IdleNoMore Movement

By: Delores Schilling

We are united now and no matter what, THIS is what they were afraid of. And when we look around at each other and learn from each other, we realize no matter what – we have already won.

On December 10, 2012, thousands of our Native Brothers and Sisters in Canada took to the streets in the face of a grassroots movement entitled #IdleNoMore. According to the website, this movement calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water. Colonization continues through attacks to Indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations; live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth.

Aimed at righting the injustices placed on Native people– Idle No More events are attracting recognition on the world’s stage. The movement to unite all native people has been prophesized since our ancient ancestors walked this earth. Years ago, they spoke of the time when we would again come together.

#IdleNoMore London, UK Dec. 21, 2012

#IdleNoMore London, UK Dec. 21, 2012

The Idle No More Movement is a movement that was a long time coming. It was as if it has always been there, standing in the shadows, waiting for us to call for it to show its face. The new tools that grace the hands of contemporary Natives have already started to express their true power.

40,000 Zapatistas Mobilise - Silent Marchs at 5 Cities in Mexico - Dec 21

40,000 Zapatistas Mobilise – Silent Marches at 5 Cities in Mexico – Dec 21, 2012

This has been surprising, I believe for all of us, and for our adversaries. The very nature of social media being at our fingertips is the antithesis of what those boarding schools worked so hard to destroy. The sense of community, learning from one another, realizing that we are all going through so much of the same things; this has been eye-opening and exciting for us as a baby taking its first steps. We burn with the knowledge that we now know how to walk.

We watched as we blurred the lines of Tribal infighting and worked together for the purchase of Pe’sla. We held each other close as we fought to make sure to be the keepers of the land, and praised each other for the wonderful achievement.

Because this achievement was NOT about Ego– it was about looking at each other and finally understanding that it has to be all of us working as a unit to bring about true change- we actually surprised ourselves. In the weeks following, we forged new relationships and claimed new family members that we will hold on to for the rest of our lives. We stand here and know that we all made history. Not one of us, all of us– The Human Family.

One Nation - One Tribe - One Fire

One Nation – One Tribe – One Fire

As with many events, we all felt all of these emotions together and expressed them in a public way through social media. We all sat back and wondered, “Now what?” In that small instance we looked around and realized the momentum was still there. It was not a one-time thing, it wasn’t a fluke. It was a movement.

We still have more to do, to give, to learn, to help… so we got to work.

We saw the words in the form of the hashtag #IdleNoMore. We sat back and thought what now? We had jumped on No Doubt for their insensitive music video and they listened. We took a stand against the hypersexual visuals with Victoria’s Secret and they listened. We looked at each other and said, “They actually heard us this time…”

So we told ourselves what we can stop on our watch. What can we do to make a lasting difference that means more than just removing a costume or a shallow video? #IdleNoMore became a focus that we couldn’t let go of.

We have to stand up with each other to be heard. We must make others understand. We have been quiet for too long. We speak to each other but not to the world. And they must hear us. So many of us have things to say – that we have kept hidden – that we have told ourselves doesn’t matter, but this is not true. YOUR WORDS ARE VALID AND IMPORTANT. We all have a voice and if each and every one of us speaks out, we will make difference in this world.

idle no more harper dec 2012

With Idle no more – we found a place where we can find our voice and take action on things we have been speaking about in our living rooms, conversations that never go any further than our community.

But, what if it did? What if the conversations made their way to the big stage? What if our words rang out and introduced our pain to the injustices felt throughout the world? This movement is bigger than all of us, but we are all a part of a truly peaceful idea that moves only when we stand as a united force and move together in the direction for the greater good.

I think we all felt the shift.

When we heard about Chief Theresa Spence, we all reacted in different ways. Many of us, including me, decided to fast along with her. Being in the states, I couldn’t have her fasting alone. I believe maybe that in some way that is what we all did.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence (middle) sits between supporters Danny Matatawabin (left) and Angela Bercier in a teepee on Victoria Island in Ottawa during her hunger strike.  (JULIE OLIVER/OTTAWA CITIZEN)

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence (middle) sits between supporters Danny Matatawabin (left) and Angela Bercier in a teepee on Victoria Island in Ottawa during her hunger strike.

With all actions and injustice coming out of Canada, we all reacted for once, as we should. We reacted to people violating our family in the broadest sense of the word. Yes, for once we were all one Human Family, with blurred Tribal lines. We came together to support a respected woman and promised to stand by her side regardless of the outcome.

We can’t say with certainty what will happen but we can vow to be what we always should be…UNITED. United as one, willing to give love first and foremost. To stand in the face of these injustices and no matter how hard we will use our voices. We will us our powerful words to make a difference. We will us our new tools of social media to connect, the new Digital smoke signal if you will.

We will help each other and work as a unit to right the wrongs, to heal our wounds, to tell our stories, to take the stigma out of the things we are too scared to talk about because we are ashamed. We will not let anyone break the unity that we have found, because it works and it is beautiful.

They can’t cut off our hair anymore. We can take back our languages and learn them, and we can live in the way that we see fit. We can teach our kids not to be afraid. We can accept Urban Natives that were assimilated and who are now begging to understand who they are.

We are united now and no matter what, THIS is what they were afraid of. And when we look around at each other and learn from each other, we realize no matter what – we have already won.




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About Rotinonshonni ónhwe - Tkanatáhere

We belong to families organized pursuant to ancient ways. Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah (Mohawks) of Grand River support site. "Very simply, frauds and deceit have usurped this war reparation and robbed our people of what is rightfully ours, leaving us with only a Land Claim. Broken deals, fraud, embezzlement and genocide – and worse – all perpetrated at the unclean hands of too many to count at this time. We are (Mohawks) Ka-nyen-geh-ha-kah of Grand River, founders of the Five Nation League and what some call the "Great Peace".

One response to “The Importance of the #IdleNoMore Movement”

  1. ohnwentsya says :

    Reblogged this on 2012 Spirit In Action and commented:
    This is an even more brilliant refutation of the nonsense I mentioned yesterday from Annett. No matter who or how this movement started, this is not controlled by anyone. This is the people standing together, working together to create a better future. All the attempts at “divide and conquer” are finally being shrugged off, we are not just our racial or tribal affiliations, nor our national affiliations-we are at heart one people all over this planet and as WE wake up to this, and join together to take back what was always ours, those who have for so long sought to divide us, sought to steal from us and cause harm and suffering-whether we call them colonizers, or 1%ers, “elites” or “illuminati” or “cabal” they know THIS has always been their very greatest fear. Please read and share this, but more importantly, share your own connection to this. Open your heart and feel your connection to us all. Recognize that tho this is being led by First Nations people of Canada, that what is being done to them is being done to us all-and by standing up with them we are standing up not only for them, but for us all.

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