‘Idle No More’ protest planned
The local “Idle No More” movement has organized a peaceful protest for this evening at the Agency #1 reserve lands at the “Seven Oaks” historical site of the Anishinaabe Nation.
The event is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., with participants asked to bring a candle and to dress accordingly.
The Point Park location is important because the “lease” of these lands, while seemingly a “positive” arrangement for the four bands, has resulted in a legal battle for ownership with the Town of Fort Frances.
It is a cautionary tale for all First Nations that are being asked to open their lands up to more leasing and development under federal AANDC’s questionable management.
We know that the chiefs in Ontario, including representatives of Grand Council Treaty #3, as well as their counterparts in Manitoba, will not be attending the 1 p.m. (CST) meeting today with Canada without the presence of the Governor General.
On Oct. 3, 1873, it was the Lt. Gov. of Manitoba and the Northwest territories, Alexander Morris, who negotiated and signed the treaty with the Anishinaabe Nation in the boundary waters area at the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods.
It is significant that treaty-making was out of the hands of local and regional politicians.
“Treaties and lands reserved for Indians were always of special concern to the British Imperial order,” said Sara Mainville, a lawyer who lives at Couchiching First Nation.
“250 years later, we are being told by the successor government of the British Crown that a lot of the safeguards for the treaty relationship, for protection of our territories, have been stripped away,” she noted.
“Of course First Nations will have grievances because of that.”
“‘Idle No More’ is about resetting this relationship,” stressed Mainville.
“There is a spiritual and educational awakening of the First Nations across Canada, across North America, and throughout the world,” she added.
The Seven Generations Education Institute had planned a gathering at 9 a.m. today for the Treaty #3 Anishinaabe to watch events unfold in Ottawa and across the country under the banner of “Idle No More.”
This gathering was open to all Anishinaabe, who were asked to bring their drums and other items to support the leadership and others trying to effect a transformational change to the Crown-First Nations relationship.