Idle No More

In the middle of the Peace Bridge under the flags of Canada, the United States and United Nations.

In the middle of the Peace Bridge under the flags of Canada, the United States and United Nations.

They came together under three flags with one heart and one mind to take a stand for the land, their sovereignty and the future of Mother Earth.
“We’re not here to be violent, not here to be savage, we are here to come together in the spirit of unity and take a stand for what we know and believe to be right,” said Earl Lambert, as he stood in the middle of the Peace Bridge under a United Nations flag, with the flags of Canada and the U.S. snapping in a cold wind on each side.
Lambert, a Cree originally from B.C., now living in Brantford, was one of approximately 250 Idle No More movement marchers, made up of First Nations members from both sides of the border and supporters from across Niagara.

Earl Lambert

Earl Lambert

“We are standing as a nation, idle no more … let the whole world hear us,” Lambert said to the cheering crowd. “We come together with one heart and one mind to take a stand … empower our Indigenous youth, our leaders, our people and stand up for the land, our sovereignty, our right to be consulted and have input into what in our government does. That’s what we’re here to do today.”
The Idle No More march on the Peace Bridge was one of three held at international border crossings in Ontario. It was the only one where the bridge was not shut down during the march. Officials in Sarnia shut down the Blue Water Bridge and officials in Cornwall shut down the Seaway International Bridge.
Kani Ka Tsis Ta, who spoke before the march took place on the Canadian side, thanked officials for making the event possible.
“We have very generous, very understanding, compassionate people working together with us. Niagara Regional Police and the Peace Bridge Authority have been amazing and have really done good things … without their cooperation this event could not be staged,” she said.

Marching from the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, NY.

Marching from the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, NY.

Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority staff closed down a single lane on the Peace Bridge for Idle No More and led the marchers up to the middle of the span over the Niagara River.
They guided traffic past the marchers and made sure no one accidentally strayed into the two remaining moving lanes. Numerous cars and transport trucks honked in support of the marchers, and there were no incidents or arrests during the peaceful march.
The only thing officials on both sides of the border asked was that members from either side not cross the actual border. Media and marchers mingled in the middle under the U.N. flag.
The Canadian march had the majority of participants, with maybe 50 people marching from the American side of the bridge between Buffalo, N.Y. and Fort Erie, Ont.
When they did meet in the middle, they used bullhorns to spread their message and beat on drums while singing.

Steve Teekens

Steve Teekens

The Idle No More movement began last last year with four women: Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon. It began as a grassroots movement to draw attention to legislation affecting Indigenous land and rights, but has grown into a national and international campaign.
In Canada, it’s drawn attention to the federal government’s environmental policies, especially Bill C-45, which changed environmental legislation protecting bodies of water in Canada, including a number which pass through First Nations land.

The Idle No More group marching from the U.S. side of the Peace Bridge.

The Idle No More group marching from the U.S. side of the Peace Bridge.

While it started as a First Nations movement, Lambert told those gathered in the middle of the bridge, between the two nations, that it’s not just for First Nations people.
“It’s about Canadians’ rights to open consultation before they (the government) raze Mother Earth … it’s about democracy and our childrens’ right to survive,” he said.
Kani Ka Tsis Ta said “we are all one, regardless of the lines that have been drawn for us. We know there is no line. What affects us over here, affects them as well … what affects in this land, affects everyone on earth.”

Idle 1

A set of photos I have on my Flickr account – http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDvqigA

http://idlenomore.ca/

This is not my video, but it shows Earl Lambert. (I missed some of what he said in this because of the wind on the Peace Bridge affecting my own video recording)

CNW News

 


 

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