Waubgeshig Rice, CBC News Discussion »
VICTORIA ISLAND, ONTARIO Thousands of people at rallies in small communities and big cities. Impromptu round dances at shopping centres in Regina and Edmonton. A chief from a remote community in Northern Ontario on a hunger strike in a teepee in the shadow of Parliament Hill.
Those are some of the images that have come to define the Idle No More movement since it began earlier this month, originally by a small group of Canada's First Nations people, almost as an exercise in social media.
Its pictures and messages have gone viral in a spirit of solidarity that is probably not unlike the Arab Spring or Occupy Wall Street movements.
Frustrated with a lack of consultation on treaty problems and seemingly unilateral federal government decisions on natural resources and the environment, indigenous peoples are suddenly saying they will no longer sit idly by while these things are being pushed through.
In the spirit of preserving what we have always seen as a sacred tie to the land, and strengthening our culture, First Nations people across the country are banding together like never before.
It's exhilarating. But while the images of strength and unity spread and inspire, there's also a sharp void in the centre of the picture of where Idle No More is headed.
Ordinary people started this movement. Their voices have risen to heights that should be impossible for federal politicians to ignore.
But now it is up to the leaders both Read More »
Waubgeshig Rice is an Ottawa-based CBC journalist, documentary maker and author, whose book Midnight Sweatlodge, about growing up on the reserve, was published in the Fall of 2011.
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posted December 22, 2012 10:30 am est