(Vancouver, BC) –The BC Metis Federation representatives Vice President Mr. Daryl Piper and Secretary Mr. Joe Desjarlais participated in an Idle No More rally held on Sunday December 30st in front of the CBC studio building located at 700 Hamilton St in Downtown Vancouver. This was another one of several such calls to action under the Idle No More campaign happening across Canada.
The Idle No More event was attended by hundreds including Grand Chief Stewart Phillip from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Musqueam representative Cecilia Point, Federal Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) Honourable Joyce Murray, members of the Squamish Nation, Musqueam Nation, various Elders, Youth leaders and several members of public participated.
The Idle No More Campaign was launched by four Aboriginal women from Saskatchewan in response to a few recent key events including the Federal Government passing of Bill C-45, increasing lack of proper support for Aboriginal communities and continued decisions by the Federal Government to ignore Aboriginal right and title through treaties that were signed. The momentum has also been bolstered by the hunger strike by Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence who is now in her 19th day of her hunger strike. Reports are confirming her dangerous weakened state yet Government of Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues his refusal to agree to hold new forum to address Aboriginal concerns.
The Idle No More Campaign has gained tremendous support and continues to gain international recognition and support from Indigenous communities in Australia and Columbia. During the latest Idle No More campaign today there were songs and prayers in support of Chief Theresa Spence of the and her fight to pressure the Harper government to take real and meaningful actions.
BC Mètis Federation Vice President Mr. Daryl Piper stated; “It does not matter whether you’re Aboriginal or non Aboriginal, your rights and freedoms are being threaten by the actions of this current Federal Government and everyone needs to take a stand for democracy.”
BC Mètis Federation Secretary Mr. Joe Desjarlais added; “I was so proud to support the Idle No More rally today. Standing among the hundreds of supporters and listening to the speakers and watching the ceremony, I saw that this movement represents a fundamental shift in the Indigenous/Canadian relationship, where indigenous people and communities take back their legitimacy. This event was a public ethical act for all Canadians to witness. Its message resonated about the need for real democracy and an ongoing concern for the public good. During the event, the crowd stopped momentarily to witness two eagles circling the tall buildings in the downtown core. I realized as well that all of us as Canadians live among people and in a place heavily influenced by indigenous ideas and actions. The days of unethical elites with abstract solutions and policies have proven unsustainable.”
Joe Desjarlais further added; “I was overwhelmed with the idea that indigenous people deserve the right to belong and coexist in their own homeland, to share their indigenous histories, knowledge and values with other Canadians. It’s about people moving toward an uncertain, shared future, knowing its right. This means big ideas about being indigenous, big ideas about being Canadian, big ideas about the future shape of Canada and this means, a fair, inclusive approach.”
BC Mètis Federation President Keith Henry concluded; “BC Mètis Federation continues to lead by example. Our leadership team shows commitment to deal with the real issues that affect all Aboriginal people. We as Mètis need to support First Nations right now more than ever, this also impacts our future and we all need to work together. We continue to show our determination to ensure all Aboriginal people, including Mètis, have our rightful and respected place in Canada. Our people are not just about programs and services and until the Federal Government stops ignoring us, we will fight together for a better future for our families.”
All the leaders agreed the Idle No More movement continues to gain strength and Aboriginal people will never accept the Harper government’s unjust actions and public manipulation and deception. The Aboriginal land is not for sale to corporate interests and Aboriginal people will continue to fight until this situation is resolved or the removal of the Harper government in the best interests of all peoples of this Country.
For more information about the BC Mètis Federation please review our website www.bcmetis.com.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
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