Idle no More as a Call to Shalom
The times are interesting for those who pay attention to movement toward â€śa world where basic needs are met, people flourish, and peace (shalom) reigns.â€ť (http://www2.crcna.org/pages/osj_socialjustice.cfm). Â Â I consider this definition a building block of sustainability; justice is a crucial part of â€śmaking peace with all creationâ€ť (http://www.academia.edu/1622009/Making_Peace_with_all_Creation).
If you are wondering about â€śIdle No Moreâ€ť and what this movement is about or what it wants, I encourage you to read a few resources. The name comes from Aboriginal peoples saying â€śletâ€™s be less-idle about the important issues and really start pushing against a broken system.â€ť
Idle No More is a movement. Social movements are not organizations; they always have a diverse set of actors, and not one concentrated voice with clear, negotiable demands (think of the Jesus movement of the 1st century, with Paul and James and Peter, having to hash out their differences at the first church council â€“ Acts 15).
A very good viewpointÂ from a Cree activist is at http://apihtawikosisan.com/. She rightly points out that the main finding of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was: Â â€śOur central conclusion can be summarized simply: The main policy direction, pursued for more than 150 years, first by colonial then by Canadian governments, has been wrong.â€ť
Despite 395 recommendations, less than half have been acted upon even in part, and the direction is still going the same way (that wrong direction).
Note that there was more cultural diversity in North America than in all of Europe, so we should never expect all Aboriginal peoples to agree, anymore than we should expect Finns and Italians and Brits and Ukrainians to have fundamentally similar ways of being (or political philosophy). The relevant issues differ among B.C. Coastal First Nations (who have no treaty) and Newfoundland Miâ€™kmaq (who were just recognized as indigenous in 2009), and Haudenosaunee and Cree (who have different treaty agreements, and a different history of encounter and engagement with the British Crown and then Canadian government). But all agree, the relationship with the federal and provincial governments are a mess, and itâ€™s a constant fight to get what was seemingly agreed upon in previous agreements.
All Canadians are â€śtreaty people.â€ť These arenâ€™t â€śspecial rightsâ€ť for one side. Treaties gave non-Aboriginals the right to â€śshare the land.â€ť That exchange required some conditions for us, such as providing education, and resources to live. As an Aboriginal leader has said, â€śSure, weâ€™ll give up our treaty rights, and they can give us back the land.â€ť â€śWe are all Treaty Peopleâ€ť (http://www.mennonitechurch.ca/news/releases/2009/06/Release04.htm).
Lastly, see the post by the Centre for Race and Culture here in Edmonton: Idle No More: A Learning Opportunity (http://foraninclusivesociety.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/idle-no-more-a-learning-opportunity).
For meeting basic needs, flourishing, and shalom â€“ we need to understand Idle No More, and engage with sincerity and faithfulness. Itâ€™s about â€śliving well TOGETHER in the land.â€ť
Posted: January 23rd, 2013 under Haluza-DeLay, King's Faculty.
Tags: aboriginal, environmental justice, first nations, government, Harper, human rights, idle no more, justice, peace, protest, revolution, social justice