Derek Bailey in Native Challenges. Discussion »
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA In downtown Anchorage, at the Town Square, approximately 40 people came together for the "Idle No More - J28" rally showing peaceful support for Canadian First Nations and Indigenous people throughout the world.
A Chilly "high" of -6 degrees in Anchorage
Organizers for the event planned it to coincide with "Worldwide Day of Action" which was to illustrate global support for Indigenous citizens, rights, the environment, and the "Idle No More" grassroots movement.
As the temperature reached a chilly "high" of -6 degrees Fahrenheit by noontime, those in attendance were greeted with an opening song and prayer. From there Lisa Wade, one of the event organizers, shared words regarding why the gathering was taking place, what issues are being faced by both First Nations and also Alaskan Natives.
“Alaska's indigenous people have a long history of colonization and the systematic stripping away of our sovereign rights. Unfortunately, these attacks on our sovereignty are not just in our past, the Governor of the State of Alaska is again proposing legislation aimed at stripping away our sovereign rights.”
stated Lisa Wade.
“Just last week, Governor Parnell put forth House Bill 77 that would in his own words, 'reform and streamline procedures for obtaining, issuing, and appealing permits, leases, best interests findings, and other authorizations issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), particularly concerning land and water,'”
“This bill benefits big coal, big oil, and other mining exploiters and is a means for the State of Alaska to strip away our ability to protect our land, water, the ability to steward traditional food sources, and our sovereign cultural and spiritual ways of life,”
Wade responded to how this would affect Alaskan Natives.
The Mount Susitna/Sleeping Lady Drummers and Medicine Dream provided a song for the round dance, which was followed by members of PAMYUA leading all that gathered in a traditional Yu'pik dance. Those in attendance also were treated with delicious salmon dip that was served.
Even though the weather was frigid, the warmth and energy from the event showed the strength and resolve from those throughout the world that are being "Idle No More"!
posted January 29, 2013 7:40 am est