Category Archives: Idle No More

Standing our sacred ground: First Nations, Tribal leaders, and land owners send message to Canada, stop tar sands at the source

April 24, 2014. Source: Idle No More


Washington DC – Northern Plains Tribal leaders and land owners representing the Cowboy and Indian Alliance joined in cross-border solidarity yesterday with their First Nations counterparts on the steps of the Canadian embassy. Their aim was to send a clear message to the Canadian and US governments to Honor the Treaties. Representatives of the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota, Ponca, Ojibway, and Cree Nations stood alongside ranchers and farmers to hold up huge letters spelling out “Honor The Treaties” and blown-up images of Treaty 8, Treaty 6, and the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, which cover Indigenous people’s lands affected by the controversial Canadian tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s time for our people to start developing our own policies and enforcing our inherent Treaty rights. It is time for us to start defining what that relationship looks like for our visitors and remind our visitors that they came here and we are the ones, as Indigenous people, that gave them the permission to settle here on Turtle Island,” said Crystal Lameman, member of Beaver Lake Cree Nation.

The Beaver Lake Cree Nation is currently engaged in a landmark constitutional Treaty rights challenge in the Supreme Court of Canada that has named tens of thousands of Treaty rights violations of Treaty 6 by the provincial government of Alberta, the federal government of Canada, and dozens of oil companies operating in the controversial Canadian tar sands. The Beaver Lake Cree Nation case represents a growing understanding that through Aboriginal Title and Inherent and Treaty Rights, the Native rights-based strategic framework is the strongest legally binding strategy to stop the expansion of the tar sands at the source, including all of the associated pipeline infrastructure coming out of Alberta to bring this land-locked resource to international markets. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Take action to stop the Energy East pipeline!

April 15, 2014. Source: Idle No More

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013. (TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling (2nd L) announces the new Energy East Pipeline during a news conference in Calgary, Alberta, August 1, 2013.

Last year, TransCanada announced their intention to build a 4,500 km pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, already devastating many Indigenous communities, to New Brunswick, where communities like Elsipogtog had to fight to stop dangerous fracking last year.

A group of concerned Indigenous activists recently met in Winnipeg to discuss how Indigenous Peoples across Canada could work together to stop this pipeline (watch them on APTN here).

This pipeline passes through major cities including Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Montreal, but also through the territory of over 150 Indigenous communities.Mi’qmaq women took action against the #EnergyEast pipeline proposal and shut down the Maritime Energy Association meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia on March 31, with the support of hundreds of young peoples who were converging for the  PowerShift Atlantic conference. Check out the photos here and read their press release here. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Aboriginal rights a threat to Canada’s resource agenda, documents reveal

By Martin Lukacs, March 4, 2014. Source: The Guardian

A man waves a Mohawk flag at a Montreal demonstration in support of the indigenous Idle No More movement in January, 2013. Photograph: Oscar Aguirre/Demotix/Corbis

A man waves a Mohawk flag at a Montreal demonstration in support of the indigenous Idle No More movement in January, 2013. Photograph: Oscar Aguirre/Demotix/Corbis

The Canadian government is increasingly worried that the growing clout of aboriginal peoples’ rights could obstruct its aggressive resource development plans, documents reveal.

Since 2008, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs has run a risk management program to evaluate and respond to “significant risks” to its agenda, including assertions of treaty rights, the rising expectations of aboriginal peoples, and new legal precedents at odds with the government’s policies.

Yearly government reports obtained by the Guardian predict that the failure to manage the risks could result in more “adversarial relations” with aboriginal peoples, “public outcry and negative international attention,” and “economic development projects [being] delayed.”

“There is a risk that the legal landscape can undermine the ability of the department to move forward in its policy agenda,” one Aboriginal Affairs’ report says. “There is a tension between the rights-based agenda of Aboriginal groups and the non-rights based policy approaches” of the federal government.

The Conservative government is planning in the next ten years to attract $650 billion of investment to mining, forestry, gas and oil projects, much of it on or near traditional aboriginal lands.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

A look back: Indigenous resistance in 2013

Source: Reclaim Turtle Island

Winter 2012/13: Akwesasne Border Closing. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Winter 2012/13: Akwesasne Border Closing. Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Reclaim Turtle Island is dedicated to spreading the word on the Indigenous Insurrection in 2014, and we look forward to continue to lift up one another’s voices on the frontlines against colonial-capitalism, reservation apartheid and industrial genocide. Please support our crowdfunding initiative so we can get the basic equipment needed to continue to produce Indigenous-led grassroots media, and continue production on several exciting upcoming projects.

All across Turtle Island and around the world Indigenous peoples are taking direct action to protect their lands by any means necessary. Together we are resisting colonialism by defeating corporate Imperialism, preventing resource extraction, asserting our sovereignty, and fighting White supremacy and legacies of racism. So much has happened and Indigenous peoples are rising up!

Below is a brief synopsis of Land Defense and Sovereigntist struggles across Turtle Island that burned bright this 2013. It is in no particular order and by no means complete. From disrupting tar sands megaloads and pipelines infrastructure, to mining blockades, logging blockades, kicking out Nazis, rescuing our kidnapped children, continued Idle No More demonstrations and reclaiming territories, our spirits of survival and responsibility are so strong. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples

Mi’kmaq speaking tour appeals for solidarity with New Brunswick anti-fracking struggle

By Roger Annis, February 5, 2014. Source:

Suzanne Patles and Coady Stephens speaking in Vancouver, January 24, 2014. Photo:

Suzanne Patles and Coady Stevens speaking in Vancouver, January 24, 2014. Photo:

It was standing room only in downtown Vancouver on January 24 as 250 people crowded into a meeting room at Simon Fraser University to hear two Mi’kmaq activists describe the ongoing fight in against gas fracking in the eastern Canadian province of New Brunswick.

Suzanne Patles and Coady Stevens are two veterans of the battle that has fought the frackers to a standstill and inspired continent-wide solidarity actions. The January 24 event was the beginning of a lengthy speaking tour that has them speaking across British Columbia and then moving on to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in the coming weeks.

In B.C., they will speak in six cities and First Nations territories. In addition to Vancouver, they will speak in Squamish (Vancouver region), Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops (Neskonlith First Nation) and Moricetown (Wet’suwet’en First Nation, in north central B.C.).

On February 1, they joined the anti-fracking, Unist’ot’en Camp in Wet’suwet’en territory for three days. The camp was established last year to act as a spiritual and physical barrier to the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline and multiple, proposed gas fracking pipelines that would converge on the northern coast of B.C. Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Hydrofracking, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs

Stand with the Oglala Lakota Nation against Keystone XL pipeline

February 2, 2014. Source: Idle No More

1798819_284387205057791_1102326687_nIdle No More and Defenders of the Land stand with the Lakota Nation, Owe Aku, Protect the Sacred, Honor the Earth, and all land defenders opposing Keystone XL.  We stand with our neighbours to honour the treaties, protect sacred water, and to defend the Indigenous ways of life.

Below is a statement from Honor the Earth that has been developed in collaboration with the Oglala Sioux Nation, Owe Aku, and Protect the Sacred.  Check the information links below and organize a vigil in your community in solidarity with the Lakota resistance to the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“The Oglala Lakota Nation has taken leadership by saying “NO” to the Keystone XL Pipeline. They have done what is right for the land, for their people, who, from grassroots organizers like Owe Aku and Protect the Sacred, have called on their leaders to stand and protect their sacred lands. And they have: KXL will NOT cross their treaty territory, which extends past the reservation boundaries. Their horses are ready. So are ours. We stand with the Lakota Nation, we stand on the side of protecting sacred water, we stand for Indigenous land-based lifeways which will NOT be corrupted by a hazardous, toxic pipeline. WE ALL NEED TO STAND WITH THEM. Continue reading


Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples

TransCanada Pipeline Explosion Shuts Off Gas For 4,000 Residents In Sub-Zero Temperatures

Note: From GJEP Board member Clayton Thomas-Muller about the explosion and the growing resistance to the tar sands:

I am Back home in Capitol City after a trip to Toronto to meet with campaigners from Defenders of the Land and Idle No More and the emerging Energy east Campaign. I wanted to express that we are in a wave of reaction from our foes in the Energy & Extractive Industry Sectors and from the right wing media and Canadian Government. You will see many attempts on both sides of the border to discredit the incredible resiliency of our Indigenous Peoples and our powerful Indigenous Social movement rising with other social movements across the island. They will attempt to use systemic mechanisms built on race, class and gender divisions but make no mistake, we got them on the run.  Read the rest of his facebook post here

BY KILEY KROH, JANUARY 26, 2014 Source:
A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.

“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Watch a video of the explosion here:

There were no injuries and the area was evacuated as a precaution, according to the National Energy Board. TransCanada said the fire was extinguished by Saturday afternoon, more than 12 hours after it started, but in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.

Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.

Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website. Funk also said that “Manitoba Hydro is asking residents to turn down thermostats and minimize use of electric heaters.”

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Oil, Political Repression, Tar Sands

Reclaim Turtle Island: Support Indigenous-led media and resistance

Note: The following is from our good friend Amanda Lickers.  Please consider supporting her efforts to inspire and create indigenous-led media, covering stories of resistance to extreme energy, colonialism and state violence.
-The GJEP Team
January 15, 2014. Source: Reclaim Turtle Island
She:kon sewa’kwe:kon! Greetings everyone!
We need your help! We’ve just launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the early 2014 upcoming projects! It’s a very exciting time and we are looking forward to the struggles ahead. Please visit our campaign page to support, share and spread the word:

Tag us on Twitter @defendourlandsMore info:

Reclaim Turtle Island is a grassroots radical media project that works to develop resources to build capacity for Indigenous sovereigntist and anticolonial struggles in Turtle Island. So, later in October our primary focus was delivering support for the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society who were toe to toe against the state and a fracking company as they stood up for their land, waters and peoples. Some of this work included getting the word out about Warriors’ treatment in jail, including supporting aMi’kmaq Warriors fight against solitary confinement and having the honour to share the call to #ShutDownCanada. In 2014 the resistance continues, and we would like to continue supporting the active decolonization of so-called North America by elevating the voices of frontline land defenders and building support for grassroots Indigenous resistance to colonial-capitalism.

For this we need you. This crowd-funding initiative is to ensure that RTI has the equipment necessary to produce high-quality video, from shooting interviews to post-production editing, and our work will always be available for free online. In early 2014, we want to bring you stories of resiliance and inspiration from the Dine who are protecting sacred sites and fighting against the mining of uranium. We want to connect with the Ponca who are fiercely resisting tar sands pipelines and unearth some of the histories of colonization in the southwest. We want to bring a land defender from the heart of the tar sands to Lakota territory where they are resisting tar sands infrastructure across their Nation. We want to support the Innu resistance against Plan Nord and continue to nurture the roots of Indigenous liberation in northeastern Turtle Island. Our focus is Indigenous resistance for Indigenous people and Reclaim is more than a media project. Reclaim Turtle Island also directly engages in struggle against resource extraction as well as builds a network of land defenders across our territories. We are bringing eachother together with stories of resistance: to learn, to share and to better fight back. Please support this initiative and encourage support from your friends. #2014WarriorUp

In the spirit of total liberation,

O’nen ki wahi ~

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Hydrofracking, Idle No More, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Saugeen Ojibwe and U.S. Politicians Oppose Nuclear Waste Burial Near Lake Huron

Currently intermediate-level radioactive waste rests in shallow pits at the Bruce Power nuclear complex near Kincardine, Ontario. Ontario Power Generation, a quasi-public company owned by the provincial government, wants to bury it. 
by Martha Troian, 12/12/13  Source: Indian Country Today 

A controversial proposal to bury nuclear waste a half mile from Lake Huron’s shoreline in Ontario is proceeding over indigenous objections in a plan that has repercussions on both sides of the U.S.–Canada border.

Opposition to the plan, which would inter low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste about 2,230 feet underground in solid rock, is sparking opposition from Indigenous Peoples and U.S. politicians alike.

“We have a long list of fears, legitimate fears in our community about these facilities, interaction with our rights, our interests and our way of life,” said Saugeen Ojibwe Nation Chief Randall Kahgee to Indian Country Today Media Network.

The Saugeen Ojibwe is one of several indigenous communities opposing the application of Ontario Power Generation for a license to store nuclear waste in an underground facility. Ontario Power, a public company owned by the provincial government, is one of the largest power generators in North America. It wants to construct a deep geologic repository—akin to a mine shaft—for storing low and intermediate-level nuclear waste within the municipality of Kincardine. The repository would be located at an existing nuclear site known as the Bruce Generating Station, where there is already a nuclear waste-management facility. The waste in question is stored there above-ground, or in shallow pits.

A three-member joint review panel appointed by the Canadian Nuclear Regulator, which oversees nuclear projects in Canada, wrapped up weeks of hearings at the end of October. The panel received submissions from disparate parties ranging from the public, to non-profit organizations, to indigenous groups and U.S. politicians. The panel will report to Canada’s environment ministry after reviewing the testimony and documents, and the federal government will issue the final decision sometime in the spring.

Kincardine agreed to host the waste in return for $35.7 million that Ontario Power will pay the town and some neighboring communities over 30 years. The facility would be about 2,300 feet (680 meters) below ground, built to store low and intermediate-level nuclear waste from the power generator’s nuclear plants all over the province. Materials include the ashes of items used at nuclear facilities such as mops, clothes, floor sweepings and gloves, according to theCanadian Press. Intermediate-level waste comprises things like filters, resins and reactor components. The site has been studied and analyzed by engineers, geologists, geoscientists and hydrologists and is safe for this purpose, Ontario Power officials told ICTMN.

“This is 450-million-year-old rock where we propose to store the low and intermediate waste,” said company spokesperson Neal Kelly. “It can be safely stored, and there are multiple, natural barriers around it.”

Company experts predict the rock will remain stable, which means the risk of radioactive leaks from the site is minute. The area is not known for earthquakes. Nor does it hold any resource potential, which eliminates the likelihood of people digging in the area in the future, Kelly said.

But this is not enough for Kahgee, whose Saugeen Ojibwe Nation lies on the shores of Lake Huron.

“We’ve been very careful how we’ve maneuvered ourselves with respect to this project,” said Kahgee. “Our people should not have to shoulder the burden for the industry forever. That is something that is not contemplated in our treaties.”

The Saugeen Ojibway Nation said they were never even consulted about construction of the Bruce Generating Station in the 1960s, despite its being located on their traditional territory. Bruce Power, the generating station’s parent company, is the outfit that two years ago proposed to ship defunct radioactive steam generators by boat through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to Sweden for recycling.

RELATED: Bruce Power Radioactive Shipment: What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Right?

Kahgee, who made three submissions to the joint review panel, said new issues kept arising out of the hearings, such as Ontario Power’s desire to eventually store decommissioned waste there. But Kelly said the company would have to undergo another round of regulatory hearings to do so.

But that is just what alarms Kahgee, and it only validates his community’s longstanding fears about Ontario Power’s intentions. Ontario Power’s president vowed not to put a shovel in the ground without Saugeen Ojibwe approval. The company has also agreed to deal with past grievances.

Stop The Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, a non-profit organization, has also spoken out against the project, collecting nearly 42,000 signatures in an online petition by late November. Notable signatories included reknowned Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, Democratic Michigan State Senator Hoon-Yung Hopwood and Farley Mowat, a Canadian author. The organization has several concerns, said spokesperson Beverly Fernandaz, foremost among them being the site’s proximity to North America’s greatest fresh water supply, depended upon by 40 million people in two countries.

“A bulk of [Ontario Power’s] outreach was in the local communities,” she said, most of whose residents work for Ontario Power or Bruce Power, or are retirees receiving a salary or pension from the nuclear industry.

Moreover, Ontario Power did not inform New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Quebec or other Ontario communities outside of Bruce County, Fernandez said. However, Ontario Power has held hundreds of briefings over the past seven years, Kelly countered. Hearings or no, the opposition is strong in Michigan, which lies on the other side of Lake Huron from Ontario.

“Neither the U.S. nor Canada can afford the risk of polluting the Great Lakes with toxic nuclear waste,” U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee, Sander Levin, John Dingell and Gary Peters of Michigan said in a letter submitted to the panel, according to the Canadian Press.

These echo the concerns of the Saugeen Ojibwe.

“We do not think there’s a sufficient record in front of the panel to make the recommendation for this project to proceed,” said Kahgee.

But while his First Nation doesn’t appear willing to store nuclear waste, other areas seem a little more open to the idea. Recently four communities in northwestern Ontario received $400,000 from Nuclear Waste Management Organization for finishing the first round of study into becoming possible storage sites.


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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Nuclear power, Pollution

For Land and Life: 25 stories of Indigenous resilience that you might’ve missed in 2013

By  • Dec 14, 2013  Source: Intercontinental Cry

With the sheer number of abuses and attacks that Indigenous Peoples face around the world, we don’t often come by stories of hope and resilience–stories that speak of long-fought struggles coming to a just end, peaceful exchanges between Nations who live in different parts of the world, and assertions of Traditional authority that governments and corporations simply accept without challenge or condition. Here’s a few of those stories that you might have missed over the past 12 months. Here’s to 25,000 more stories just like them!

An Ainu-Maori Exchange

A group of 7 Ainu youth, accompanied by 3 Ainu committee members and 3 interpreters, traveled to New Zealand in order to study the various ambitious endeavors of the Maori people who have successfully revitalized their rights as Indigenous People while living with strength in the society of New Zealand.

After successfully carrying out a major online fundraiser to pay for the journey, the Ainu–who are themselves struggling to revitalize their culture, language and identity–reported a very positive experience during their stay. As explored on theAinu Maori Exchange activity website, the Ainu learned a language teaching method called Te Ataarangi, sat down with the Maori Party-Whangaehu Marae, visited several Maori-based schools and businesses as well as television and radio stations and many different historical sites.

An Alternative Currency

Esquimalt First Nation, in an effort to reform the monetary system, unveiled a new barter currency on their territory known as Tetlas. Similar to a gift certificate, the Tetla was developed by the organization Tetla Tsetsuwatil to assist economic development in the S’amuna’ Nation and other native nations, and to encourage trade with non-natives and among non-natives. More than two dozen businesses now accept the alternative currency.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Forests, Idle No More, Indigenous Peoples, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Victory!