Idle No More Rally at State Capitol
Governments want to Change Environmental Protections in Native Land TreatiesStaff Report with Francisco Dominguez
Sacramento, CA: Solidarity and spirit filled the plaza, drummers circled and sang in the traditional Round Dance, as Native Peoples and Tribes from California, the United States, Mexico and Canada celebrated and protested at the Sacramento Capitol on January 26, 2013 in support of the global movement, Idle No More.

This is an ongoing protest movement originating among the indigenous people of Canada and their supporters, triggered by bills introduced into the Canadian legislature (“Omnibus Bill C-45”) which are intended to open up Native lands to extreme environmentalP1020888sml.jpg degradation and exploitation by corporate interests eager to build megaprojects like Alberta’s tar sands oil extraction, one of the dirtiest technologies in the world.

Those gathering at the State Capitol listened to the music of the drums and traditional songs, as well as the speakers, including Lakota Harden, from the Lakota; Orena Monahan, from Quechuan-Maricopa; and Morning Star Galli from California’s Pit River Tribe.

Idle No More first emerged in Canada to fight the gutting of environmental review procedures designed to protect waterways and other resources, as well as to preserve native lands from privatization. Activists have joined together in global days of action across the world, both to assert indigenous sovereignty and to work towards sustainable, renewable development.P1020894sml.jpg

“Flash Mob Round Dances” have been held in many cities. According to a recent press release, “There have always been individuals and groups working towards these goals – Idle No More seeks to create solidarity and further support these goals, and particularly encourages youth to become engaged in this movement, as the leaders of our future. Idle No More also recognize that there may be backlash, and encourage people to stay strong and united in spirit.”

Here at SHOC, we see a parallels between the movement of Native Peoples and the movement of homeless people in our communities struggling for “a place to be.” Arrested under Sacramento’s anti-camping ordinance for the simple act of sleeping outside, because we have no “ground,” our struggle to establish community and stability – a self governing community, a “Safe Ground” – has much in common with Idle No More as it gathers support for protection of Native lands.

As stated in the press release, “Idle No More calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty and protects land and water. Idle No More calls on all of us to repair these violations… work towards justice in action, protect Mother Earth, and create sustainable, healthy communities.” – this is the key to the future.