Derek Bailey in Native Condition. Discussion »
When the "Idle No More" movement began in early December 2012, entrenched in a humble and earnest spirit, the focus of tribal sovereignty, citizens' rights and environmental protection have been at the forefront. Tribal citizens from the First Nations in Canada responded abruptly to proposed legislation (Bill C-45) that looked to significantly impact tribal sovereignty, self-determination and rights.
Derek Bailey is the former Tribal Chairman of the
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians
What has transpired to date is nothing short of historic, or better yet an Indigenous prophecy shared inter-tribally, of a generation that would bring the Anishinaabek together and trumpet the rightful place and existence that have been known by prior generations and ancestors.
Leading the way have been the elders, women and men, the youth, the singers and drummers, political activists, veterans, round dancers, and non-Native supporters. One driving force behind the "Idle No More" movement has been with social media. Flash mobs throughout Canada and the United States have been successfully coordinated thru Facebook and Twitter.
Individuals have created photographs with powerful wording to capture this moment. One in particular photograph I can recall was that of a non-Native Canadian. He held a sign, on the side of the road, that read, "It’s not an Indian thing It's a Canadian thing." How right he is, but it's more than Canada, it's a "Citizen thing."
This past Sunday, Tribal Councilors with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB), signed Declaration 010613-01. This Declaration is titled: LTBB Support for the First Nations of Canada and the "Idle No More" Movement. I applaud and commend this necessary action taken by Tribal Leaders that recognizes legislative attacks on tribal sovereignty be it here or in Canada. The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians recognized that a voice that needs to be called upon and be present, if now more than ever, is that of our Tribal Leaders from Tribal Nations in the United States.
I ask all to review LTBB's Declaration. But please do not stop there. Print it out, email the link, but please get this to your respective Tribal Councils and ask that they, as your elected officials, take similar action - whether through a Declaration or a Resolution - at their next Council meeting.
We are in a time that sitting idle is not the answer. We need to keep at the forefront, being proactive, embracing tribal unity without regard for foreign boundaries, and stand strong as Ancestors for future generations.
Read the full Declaration here »
Derek Bailey is the former tribal chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians in Michigan.
posted January 8, 2013 8:10 am est