Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

Kill Bill C-45

Tomorrow there is an international call to action to support First Nations in Canada whose indigenous rights are being trampled by the Harper government’s budget Bill C-45, which was passed by on 14 December.

The Bill, which changes land use and resource policies and undermines environmental laws, dramatically undermines the ability of Indigenous communities in Canada to protect their land.

“The reason we’re gathering as one nation is because the Government of Canada, Stephen Harper, has put through an omnibus bill that will affect the treaties and the ability for the people on the treaty territories to make decisions in regards to land, resources and minerals,” says Elder Taz Bouchier.

First Nations are even appealing to the Queen as Canada’s formal head of state to rescind the bill which has to now go through royal assent before it formally becomes law.

“The Canadian government have made a unilateral decision to remove the protection of waterways without adequate consultation with First Nations and communities that rely on river systems for navigation and cultural practices protected under treaty,”says Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

She adds: “Shell Canada has proposed to mine out 21km of the Muskeg River, a river of cultural and biological significance. This ultimately gives the tar sands industry a green light to destroy vital waterways still used by our people.”

Under the banner of Idle No More (on Twitter follow #IdleNoMore), there will be demonstrations across Canada and internationally tomorrow. Over 70 busloads of First Nations supporters from throughout Canada are heading to Ottawa to take part in a noon ceremony tomorrow. A solidarity action will take place in London at 8:30 am this Friday.

The protest movement has been spreading like wildfire via social media. On Tuesday night some 600 First Nations activists and their supporters took part in a peaceful demonstration in Edmonton in Canada.

Conway Kootenay, one of the organizers for Edmonton Idle No More said: “There’s a big assault happening right now with our First Nations people with this Bill C-45 and that’s what we’re doing here, we’re addressing that, we’re addressing these concerns that we have. It’s a movement, it’s a movement of solidarity, it’s a movement for nationhood and it’s a movement to address and protect our treaty rights as First Nations people.”

Meanwhile Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation is currently on her tenth day of a hunger strike, living inside a teepee on Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, near Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Spence is said to be “not well and is weak” from the hunger strike.

She has promised to starve herself to death unless the Conservative government starts showing more respect to First Nations concerns and aboriginal treaties. “I am willing to die for my people because the pain is too much and it’s time for the government to realize what it’s doing to us,” she says. “I am not afraid to die. If that’s the journey for me to go, then I will go.”

The First Nations are particularly angry with what they see as double standards over pollution from the tar sands.

“A few Canadians get E.coli sickness and Harper shuts down XL Foods,” argues one post on a social networking site, referring to the recent closure of an Alberta meat processing plant over a contamination scare.  “But Cree are dying in (Fort Chipewyan, Alta.) from toxins in their water, yet Harper keeps the tar sands open.”

In a cynical move it is being reported in the Canadian press that there have been closings at borders so that American Indians attempting to enter Canada to attend rallies cannot do so.

Comments (20)

  1. EarlRichards says:

    Stephen Harper is Canada’s, George Bush.

  2. susan chapman says:

    Disgraceful.. Needs international coverage

  3. Qwikslver says:

    I feel so sorry for the good people of Canada. This is a battle aganst insatiable greed and it will need many people to be strong and fight them all the way. Please give that lady some food . She needs to be strong enough to fight..The hearts of America are with you. We’re fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, and all along the marcellus shale in APPLACHIA.BE STRONG AND FIGHT EVERY CHANCE YOU GET, IN ANY WAY YOU CAN. God be with you.Q

  4. Karen Osland says:

    Perhaps the American Indians would be wise to google the Jay Treaty of 1794. AKA Free Passage right. Just sayin. Worth a look at.

  5. you guys are so racist it’s unreal! You are so NOT the protectors of the land, or the environmentalists and it’s NOT your land. It’s all of ours. Your race does not give you the right to be racist. You are only complaining because the Chiefs stand to lose their dictatorship powers, which will now go to the people, as it always should have been, but you were all so backwards from another millenium, you never caught on to democracy. And why should you when your leaders keep you down and brainwash you with hate and racism against all who are not you. ON and on and on you all go, sniveling as if none of our ancerstors struggled. STOP YOUR RACISM. This is simply not you land and every time you say it is, you are displaying your racism. We are ALL in this together. You are bullies and extortionists!

  6. Cheryl says:

    Take responsibility for your own life and actions the canadian tax payer is getting sick of your crap!!!
    We owe nobody anything!!!

  7. Cheryl says:

    Thanks to Mr Harper this is what happens Canadian tax payers are getting fed up

  8. Angelica Jacobs says:

    MICHELE TITTLER, I am a YOUNG American Indian and it BREAKS my heart to seethe agression from people LIKE YOU towards PEOPLE LIKE US. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE knows that NATIVE AMERICANS were the first on the land. Of course this is all of OUR land NOW, but it was OUR (Native Americans) land FIRST! If Columbus landed where he should have landed, you would all be in INDIA. NO ONE has ever heard that any OTHER RACE being the first people on this land. Maybe if the WHITES went about things a different way upon arriving, then it would BE all of OUR land. But “people” got GREEDY! And they call us the SAVAGES! GOD put the Natives on THIS land and put CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS on EUROPEAN LAND (already ESTABLISHED by the way). So don’t sit there and try to DERATIONALIZE what the indigenous people are fighting for. If the government was trying to take your kids, dog, moher, father, watever it may be, you would FIGHT for it. But until anything like that happens to YOU, stop being a “TIT.” To me, it looks like YOU are the racist one. DO NOT enrage your feelings toward the Native Americans. If WE are all in this TOGETHER, then tell that to STEPHEN HARPER!

  9. angalee says:

    @michelle we are protectors of the land, it is our land.

    Most of our tribes are Sovereign Nations which means:
    The supreme, absolute, and uncontrollable power by which an independent state is governed and from which all specific political powers are derived; the intentional independence of a state, combined with the right and power of regulating its internal affairs without foreign interference.

    Sovereignty is the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself, such as making, executing, and applying laws; imposing and collecting taxes; making war and peace; and forming treaties or engaging in commerce with foreign nations.

    Treaties should be respected an not changed by more greed!

    This is what we are fighting for we are not bullies or extortionsists and your comments are very offensive and you are backwards for believing this everyone knows this is our land and it was stolen from us!!!

  10. angelica says:

    MICHELE TITTLER, I am a YOUNG American Indian and it BREAKS my heart to see the agression from people LIKE YOU towards PEOPLE LIKE US. FOR NOTHING! We are doin the only thing that we can do, FIGHT! EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE knows that NATIVE AMERICANS were the first on the land. YES, this is all of OUR land NOW, but it was OUR (Native Americans) land FIRST! If Columbus landed where he should have landed, you would all be in INDIA. NO ONE has ever heard that any OTHER RACE being the first people on this land. Maybe if the WHITES went about things a different way upon arriving, then it would BE all of OUR land. But “people” got GREEDY! And they call us the SAVAGES! GOD put the Natives on THIS land and put CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS on EUROPEAN LAND (already ESTABLISHED by the way). So don’t sit there and try to DERATIONALIZE what the INDIGENOUS people are fighting for. If the government was trying to take your kids, dog, moher, father, watever it may be, you would FIGHT for it. But until anything like that happens to YOU, stop being a “TIT.” To me, it looks like YOU are the RACIST one. DO NOT enrage your feelings toward the Native Americans. If WE are all in this TOGETHER, then tell that to STEPHEN HARPER!

  11. Souta Calling Last says:

    I have gifted a copy of the Jay treaty to my border crossing which separates the confederated tribes of the blackfoot. They held me for 4 hours once telling me to pick a country. Since my parents live an hour from each other, one in montana on the blackfeet rez and one on the standoff reserve I travel through frequently. I was born and enrolled on the blood tribe and raised in heartbutte montana. I cross frequently. All of the border guards were from newfoundland and said they never heard of the treaty and it didn’t mean anything to them. They continued to hold me for hours more demanding I pick a country. I said no. over and over. finally they let me go. I was 19.

  12. Gary DuTeau says:

    Those who protect Mother Earth are the good; those corporations who trash and destroy her are evil. It is simple as that. People who have been deliberately retarded by the racist corporate criminal gang of the oil corporations, using mystic religion and schools of propaganda, do not understand and cannot support the saving of the earth. Oil families like the Rockefeller and Bush families are behind all this, as well as Royal Dutch Shell and Royal BP. All of the governments are under the control of the evil corporations. Protectors of Mother Earth should view the tar sands and XL pipeline battles as critical to saving the earth.

  13. Jim Johnson says:

    If the Indians want their own land they can start by obeying US & Canadian laws, not the ones they make up. Then they can pay their fair of taxes on that land instead of asking for hand outs.

    Every time a law is put on the books that effects the Indians and their drug & cigarette trade it’s all bleeding heart, feel bad for me. Lets march, block traffic and make people hate us.

    Grow up and become part of society.

  14. Angelica says:

    Haters! Haters! Haters! @ jim johnson. Indians DONT have to pay taxes. That was one of the agreements in the treaties. And when is the last time we made a livivng off of trading cigarettes? A LONG time ago. Exactly! We are not asking for “handouts” we are asking for our human/civil rights, part of the “US” law. How can politicians in the US government expect something when they’re CORRUPTING the law THEY aggreed to. All white people who don’t support the INDIGENOUS are HYPOCRITES!!! Sorry to say, but you’re and IDIOT! This isn’t even about the cigarette/drug trade. It is about MOTHER EARTH! We are trying to save the WATER, HOMES, THE FUTURE!! I wish whites would just turn on eachother so you could see how it feels. Whites never fought, the only stole.

  15. Cheryl says:

    To Angelica I agree will Jim Johnson after all if you walked into a major bank and told them this they would tell you to hit it I’m pretty sure they dont care if your white black or purple,

  16. Cheryl says:

    There is nothing in any treaty that says that post secondary education is owed work and pay for it yourself or take out loans like everyone else there were no universities two hundred years ago

  17. jose says:

    if you dont stop your fighting there will be nothing left for out children no water no rawl matirelas nothing for them our children and non native children also will other amendments that harper is slippin under the table you will no beable to own land cars or event buy meet more then a few block radius from your own him wake up and educate your self now is the time to stand together these are fresh water lakes that you can drink from still fish that have no cancer wild game that live in ths woods still if we dont quit this stupidety then there will be nothing left for our kids dont you see the bigger picture we as you say indians are more intuned with the earth due to our ways a belives i dont see non giving thanx to mother eather in church but we due in ours time to wake up canada before your eyes open and its to late this battle is not skin colored time to stop fighting about who created earth and stop those who are destroying it (sr about my spelling im in a hurry and no time to go back )

  18. Cheryl says:

    To Jose
    I’ve got to say I agree with you but Harper got voted back in I didnt vote for him he only cares about the wealthy not me or you so PLEASE EVERYONE VOTE WE WANT HIM OUT!!

  19. Patrick DeBoard says:

    There’s no such thing as American Indians. Indians live in India. Americans live in America. The so-called American Indians, or Native Americans, are simply Americans. People who came later are British, French, Irish, Dutch, German, and many other flavors European. Africans did not come here. They were brought here. And most of them were dead on arrival. Same thing in Canada. The British still despise their “Indians”, which by the way, is a construct of the mind, and now, a popular brainwashing device. Indians! yeah right. and Santa, and Jesus…

  20. lawrence says:

    Tittler has a facebook page that promotes hate against Aboriginal people. its called “end race based law” there you will find all of her followers and her bad mouthing and putting down Aboriginal people.

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