Nanaimo BC: Idle No More Demonstration

B. McPherson
Sign says, "Sorry for the inconvenience, we're trying to save the planet!


BC First Nations and supporters staged an information demonstration at Departure Bay in Nanaimo on Monday. The peaceful and orderly demonstration of about 200 caught the attention of the BC Ferry passengers going to and unloading from the government ferry. Many were supportive of the Idle No More people, tooting horns and waving.

The action took place to try to educate the general population about the omnibus bills currently being considered in Ottawa. While the handouts dealt mainly with the effect these bills would have on the indigenous people, they also have profound effects for the general population as well.
This little girl is learning about her rich culture.

Bill C-38: a 450 page bill would remove many environmental protections now in effect. First Nation people have not been consulted regarding these changes.

Bill C-45: 450+ pages that would also remove much fish habitat protection and also make extensive changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act which would remove protection for 99% of our waterways.
First Nations across Canada are tired of waiting for justice.

Many people in the non-aboriginal communities are bewildered by the “sudden” complaining and assertions of injustices by First Nation people. It is true that the Department of Indian Affairs costs the Canadian taxpayers a great deal of money annually, but it supports a thriving bureaucracy.

First Nations people supported the British in the defense of fledgling Canada when the US attacked in 1812. They were instrumental in helping voyagers and European explorers. In some cases, treaties were signed with the European colonists. In many more cases, land issues have remained unsettled and treaties have been ignored.

When Asian and European traders first came to what is now Canada, they found thriving cultures. Many of the groups were hit hard with communicable disease from Europeans. With the arrogance of Victorian times, it was decided to eliminate these cultures and force native people to become “like white men only not quite equal.” Part of that strategy involved seizing children and putting them into the infamous residential school system where they were punished for clinging to any vestige of their culture. Many of those children were abused sexually and physically. Sadly, many who abused the children purported to be Christians.
Young, old, native and non-native marched in solidarity.

Also pertaining mainly to the First Nations
While much of this legislation may have positive aspects, real consultation with the affected parties has not taken place.

Bill C-47: Presupposes that all native bands are irresponsible with their money and would impose many reports regarding financing while ignoring those bands that have shown financial responsiblilty.
First Nations Private Property Ownership Act: This would allow individuals to sell their aboriginal owned lands to non-aboriginals.
Bill S-2: Family Homes on Reserve and Matrimonial Interests or Right Act
Bill S-6: First Nations Elections Act
Bill S-8: Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act
Bill C-428: Indian Amendment and Replacement Act
Bill S-207: An Act to Amend the Interpretation Act
Bill S-212 First Nations Self-Government Recognition Bill



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