As Obama was being inaugurated for his second term, Idle No More supporters held a traditional Native American round dance in Dupont Circle. These round dances are becoming one of the symbols ot Idle No More’s traditional stand against industrialized destruction of Native land and treaty rights.
Idle No More may have descended from the sucessful decade-long defense of Grassy Narrow against clearcut logging, It accelerated rapidly late last year with the passage of Canadian bill C-45 to strip away protections of waterways critical to First Nations people and permit the sale of land from First Nations reserves to such buyers as mining companies. This bill is considered a direct violation of treaty rights between sovereign First Nations and the government of Canada.
Bill C-45 was protrayed as a budget and jobs bill, but it has been compared to “termination” meaning the removal of all indigenous rights to land and forced citizenship and employment in menial jobs in the conquerors’s economy. As likely as not, the biggest beneficiary will be the Alberta Tar Sands mining pits, which poison waterways and destroy Native land.
As a result, Idle No More and Idle No More solidarity blockades have often focussed on stopping the Keystone XL directly. In addition, blockades of critical roads and rail links in Canada have been spreading. Here in the US, Idle No More solidarity actions have blockaded targets associated with the Keystone XL.