THUNDER BAY – Their voices will not be stilled. The Teach In on the steps of City Hall in Thunder Bay was designed to raise awareness of the situation facing Canada and First Nations.
“What we’re seeing is the rolling out of a strategic plan by this government to extinguish First Nations rights and titles to this land to pave the way for agreements like the FIPA agreement to be signed and which would pull all Canadians on the sidelines as our resources are extracted and exported with little profits or jobs going to the average Canadian,” explains Joyce Hunter, a co-co-ordinator for Idle No More Thunder Bay.
Saturday’s goal was explaining the full reasoning behind the concerns and frustrations that First Nations leaders and peoples are feeling over the legislative path that the Harper government is enacting.
It is a complicated issue, one that will require people to take the time to grasp all of what is happening according to Idle No More.
Hunter adds, “This has been happening to First Nations since we took treaty, but now its about to happen to all Canadians – I suppose this means the average Canadian will get a taste of the medicine our government has been forcing on us for the next thirty-one years from the date this agreement is signed”.
“We are asking all Canadians to stand with us as we make our stand; to remind Canada and the Crown that we have a Treaty and this means, as signatories, they have a legal obligation to obtain our free, prior and informed consent before they can enter into any such agreement concerning our lands”.
The process of education on treaty rights, and on how those treaties are viewed by Aboriginal peoples, and governments as well as how they impact the rest of Canada is a large task.
Part of the goal in Thunder Bay by Idle No More is to work toward that objective.
The effort is ongoing.