Idle No More gains momentum locally
by Angie Moore
On Wednesday, January 16, Highway 28 at Burleigh Falls was closed for a few hours while a peaceful gathering of Canadians came to sing, dance and be Idle No More.
The group of Canadians from multiple backgrounds and ethnicities came together to block the highway at the Trent Severn Lock Bridge to show unity against Bill C-45.
The OPP were there to lend a helping hand by blocking the road on both sides of the bridge.
Brent Whetung was among the supporters and stated, “Last night we were labelled as Terrorists by Sun Media. Today at Burleigh Falls it was nothing but laughter, dancing, holding hands and being in solidarity.
“The grass roots movement of Idle No More, led by our youth, has changed the way First Nations People bring our message to the rest of Canada. We are here to bring attention to the changes in Federal Legislation put through in Omnibus Bills that open up the development and exploitation of Canada’s resources to big businesses.
“Today we stood in solidarity with other First Nations and Canadians who want these types of bills repealed from governments who try to impose them. A response by the Ontario Provincial Police at this site was very professional and we would like to thank them for protecting our safety.”
Drummers played while others joined hands and danced as one. Kim Whetung, organizer of the gathering, was pleased with the event’s success and was very happy with the turn out.
She reflected after the event, “It went just how we hoped it would go. There is such a feeling when you take up someone’s hand and you move to that drum beat, it’s like a heart beat.
“Just to see everyone smiling, to see those folks that take the time to come out. I think it was about 60/40 split for relations. Good comments were shared by folks, open dialogue is critical.
“In the coming weeks and months I believe we will see more of that; more sharing. We were extremely pleased with the police presence. The respect and cooperation was stellar and we are grateful for that.”
Supporters present shared, sang and danced in solidarity. Idle No More is gaining in popularity across Canada and other countries. It’s more then a “Native” issue and as Canadians we need to become informed and learn just what it is we all stand to lose.
Copyright 2010 Lakefield Herald Ltd.
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