Idle No More Thunder Bay – Shifting Directions

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Honour of the Crown at stake
Idle No More Round Dance at Thunder Bay City Hall

Joyce Hunter addressing Idle No More Thunder Bay Rally - Photo by Jorja Wenjack
Joyce Hunter addressing Idle No More Thunder Bay Rally – Photo by Jorja Wenjack

THUNDER BAY – News – The Idle No More Thunder Bay movement is shifting directions. One of the organizers, Joyce Hunter is stepping aside to pursue other efforts. Joyce Hunter says, “Her new role will continue to allow her to work with Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in building better relationships that will hopefully result in a more inclusive, healthier and safer community”.

Hunter has reportedly taken on a new job with the City of Thunder Bay. 

Idle No More Evolving

Idle No More in Thunder Bay just completed a rally and teach-in on January 28th that included a walk and a round dance.

Organizers for the grassroots movement are planning several more events in the community in efforts to rally support, and to educate more residents on the goals of the Idle No More movement.

Efforts include plans for neighbourhood events, events on weekends where more people can participate, and greater community engagement.

Perhaps what is lost for many in understanding grassroots movements, like Idle No More, is that there are people who step forward, there are those who help, and there are those who lead, but the very nature of most grassroots efforts is no one person leads the effort.

Thunder Bay’s Idle No More is reported to be seeking input from Elders, gathering support in the business community, and working on a wide range of efforts to reach out in the city. 

The City of Thunder Bay is working, as a corporation to reach out to the growing Aboriginal community as well.  Sam Achneepineskum has been appointed to the position of Acting Aboriginal Liaison while the search for a permanent replacement takes place. “Sam Achneepineskum is a respected elder in the community and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs.

Achneepineskum comes to the City from Nishnawbe Aski Nation where he was the Residential Schools Program Coordinator. He is a member of Marten Falls First Nation. Achneepineskum is the Acting Aboriginal Liaison following the departure of Anna Gibbon who was recently appointed Ontario Justice of the Peace.