One house Many Nations sustainable village prototype at EDIT2017 – Idle No More

We have now started the 22 week training in Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Ten community members are learning how to build and will be starting to build the sustainable village. It’s a land – based curriculum that incorporates carpentry, indigenous knowledge, language and culture as well as design. Stay tuned for updates! 

In the meantime enjoy the tour of the prototype (winner of top 5 design of EDIT2017 design and innovation expo) For those that missed seeing the interior of the prototype.- here is the video.

Idle No More San Francisco Bay Take Action! – Idle No More

On November 6th, The Bay Area group Idle No More worked with Issac Murdoch and members of the Onamon Collective, and Greenpeace  to paint a massive anti-DAPL message outside of Wells Fargo. This street painting drew in huge crowds sending the powerful message that water is life.

This action occurred just weeks before the recent  Keystone Pipeline oil spill in South Dakota  


A large mural was quickly painted on the street outside Wells Fargo, Nov. 6, 2017 (Photo: Isaac Murdoch)

For more info:

Activist paint anti-DAPL Mural outside Wells Fargo

Idle No More SF Bay Blog


Idle No More In Solidarity with Indigenous Taiwanese – Idle No More

INM Solidarity statement  

For immediate release

Idle No More stands in solidarity with Indigenous Taiwanese who are currently occupying the 228 Peace Memorial Park/台北市二二八和平紀念公園. This current occupation has been for more than 260 days. INM calls for the Canadian government to impose immediate trade restrictions on Taiwan.  

Indigenous people have lived in Taiwan for at least 6,000 years. The languages they speak belong to the Austronesian language family. From Taiwan, people speaking Austronesian languages moved into the Pacific, settling islands from the Philippines to Indonesia, all the way from Hawaii and Easter Island to New Zealand and even Madagascar.

Since the arrival of the first colonial settlers in Taiwan 400 years ago, tribal land has been shrinking with colonial regimes that include Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, and Han Chinese. Most tribal land is now government-owned, and some become privately-owned, by descendants of Han settlers. President Tsai Ing-wen apologized to the Indigenous peoples (August 1, 2016) and promised to designate indigenous traditional territory. According to a survey completed in 2007 by the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) under the Executive Yuan, indigenous traditional territory was around 1.8 million hectares of land. However, CIP as President Tsai’s administration proclaimed on February 14, 2017 ‘‘The  Regulations for Demarcating Indigenous Traditional Territories,”  which drastically reduces indigenous traditional territory from 1.8 million hectares to 0.8 million hectares by excluding privately-owned land.

On February 23, 2017, Indigenous peoples, led by Mayaw Biho, Panai Kusui, and Napu Husungan Istanda, began a protest on Ketagalan Blvd, 400 meters from the President’s Office, calling on President Tsai to honor her promises, and amend the regulations. President Tsai refused to acknowledge their existence, so the protest became a peaceful camp-in teach-in, under the hashtag #沒有人是局外人 (“No one is outsider”). The protest continues, going on nine months, and greatly needs your concern and support.

For more info:

Media contact person:
Mayaw Biho +886(0)975 096 221 (Taiwan)|+1 646 327 4025 (US)

Canada Must Read: The Reconciliation Manifesto Edition – UNsettling Canada 150 – Idle No More

For the great Secwepemc leader Arthur Manuel, decolonization meant recovering the land, and rebuilding the economy. His book “The Reconciliation Manifesto” presents a devastating look at the backrooms and predatory spaces of settler state colonialism in Canada. But it also theorizes in plain language the steps Indigenous peoples are taking and must take to get back their lands and emplace themselves back in protective spaces of belonging and political freedom.

A collection of reflections that encompass a multiplicity of vital issues and analysis on Canadian bureaucracy, policies, legislation, law, and culture, this book also tackles the complicated culture of “Indian Act” governments, put in place by Canada and structured to be complicit with the worst of Canada’s assimilation agenda.

This season, we invite people to join us in another national reading campaign of The Reconciliation Manifesto.

The project of “Canada Must Read” was launched simultaneously with the Defenders of the Land / Idle No More campaign #Unsettle150 to counter the 2017 celebrations of Canada’s 150 years of colonization. We selected Arthur Manuel’s first book, “Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call” to launch the series, since it so clearly and beautifully spells out the recent history of Indigenous political struggle on these lands. Hundreds of people took up the call and read the book, on their own or in study groups, and reached out to tell us how much they learned and were affected by Manuel’s powerful writing.

To order a book from Lorimer click here:

If you are in the Toronto area, please join us at the Toronto Book Launch of The Reconciliation Manifesto on November 30 with Naomi Klein, Ska7cis Manuel, Audra Simpson, and Russ Diabo. Hosted by Hayden King:

For more information go to

For media requests and inquiries, please contact:

Stay tuned for opportunities to share thoughts and ideas about the book.

Indigenous Land Defense – Idle No More

On the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Indigenous land defenders across the country continue to protect our inherent rights and territories. The Canadian Government under Justin Trudeau continue to make false claims that they support Indigenous rights and self-government, yet non-consensual resource extraction and land theft continues. Idle No More stands in solidarity withthese land defenders. This update highlights some land defence sites, and invites Indigenous nations and our allies to join the resistance.  

Land rights: Defending Kanehsata:ke

Picture1.pngOn July 11, 1990, the people of Kanehsatà:ke endured a 78 day siege known as the “Oka Crisis” in order to protect their land from a 9 hole golf course expansion by the Municipalitié d’Oka and private developers. The development would also see the removal of Kanien’kehá:ka burial ground and condominium development. At the same time, the community of Kahnawake blocked the busy Mercier bridge on the south shore of Montreal in support of their sister community of Kanehsatà:ke. While the construction the golf course expansion and condominium development was prevented, the long standing historical land dispute was never settled.


Picture1_2.pngGas & oil development on Mohawk territory

Today a new land development is taking place at the edge of the Pines area on traditional Kanien’kehá:ka territory, commonly referred to as Les Collines d’Oka.  So continues the 300 year old land dispute of the ancestral lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatà:ke. Since the siege of 1990, more land has been lost due to Bill S-24, an act of Parliament called the “Interim Kanesatake Land Management Act”�. This has perpetuated the 300 year old land fraud as more land has been illegally sold without the free prior and informed consent of the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatà:ke. In spite of peaceful efforts to INAC Minister Carolyn Bennett to have the development halted and intervene on behalf of the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatà:ke, Canada refuses to intervene and bring about a peaceful resolution to the contested lands.

We therefore demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intervene in the land dispute in Kanehsatà:ke (OKA) in order to uphold Canada’s domestic and international legal obligations to defend the human rights of the Kanien’kehá:ka of Kanehsatà:ke. 

For  the list of demands, more information and to Petition

Articles for further reference:


Tiny House Warriors

IMG_3666.JPGThe Secwepemc Nation is building 10 solar-powered tiny houses in the path of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Land defender and tiny house warriors activist Kanahus Manuel explains: “We, the Secwepemc, have never ceded, surrendered, or given up our sovereign title and rights over the land, waters and resources within Secwepemcul’ecw [traditional Secwepemc territory]. 


We collectively hold title and governance regarding Secwepemcul’ecw and the collective consent of the Secwepemc is required for any access to our lands, waters and resources.                   

Facebook page:

Watch a video about the project:

Donate here for Tiny House Warriors:

Articles for further reference:


Swanson Island Salmon fish farm occupation

IMG_3714.JPGThe Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Nation have stood in opposition to fish farms in their territory for nearly 30 years. Since time immemorial they have protected their salmon and herring  for future generations. 

The government has ignored Dzawada’enuxw leadership and allowed the fish farming industry to grow. Today 1/3 of the BC salmon farming industry is using Dzawada’enuxw territory to grow Atlantic salmon. Research on wild salmon in Dzawada’enuxw territory has recorded enormous loss of wild salmon due to sea lice from fish farms (link).  While the industry claims to have improved, research published in 2016 demonstrates that sea lice from fish farms killed up to 40% of juvenile wild salmon in Dzawada’enuxw territory. There is no evidence anywhere in the world that the fish farming industry can operate without killing wild salmon. Dzawada’enuxw herring stocks have failed to rebound despite 30 years of no fishing and recent evidence shows herring congregating around the farms putting them at high risk of disease and they are eating unnatural food and vulnerable to predators. 

Recent science and a federal court ruling suggest the fish farming industry is putting Atlantic salmon infected with piscine reovirus into ocean pens throughout British Columbia, including Dzawada’enuxw territory.  Evidence suggests that this virus is from Norway. Wild salmon are at high risk of infection with this highly contagious virus associated with severe heart disease in salmon. This fight is for the benefit of all people because wild salmon are an essential part of our living world.

IMG_3705.JPGArticles for further reference:

One House Many Nations update 

IMG_3454.JPGIn order to offer creative alternatives to resource extraction and bring attention to the housing crisis on First Nations in Canada, Idle No More started the One House Many Nations (OHMN) awareness and action Campaign in 2015.  The first sustainable, off the grid and eco-friendly home was built and  delivered to a family on the Big River First Nation in January, 2016. Over 300 people and organizations have donated money, supplies or volunteered time to the One House Many Nations Campaign (CBC article). Many First Nations have now developed similar models that focus on community needs.  We are very excited to see the work of OHMN growing across Canada. The current focus is creating a sustainable village in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, in Northern Manitoba. Building sustainable alternatives is an important and viable way to defend Indigenous territories.

IMG_3464.JPGEDIT website here:

 Donate here for Idle No More One House Many Nations

Opaskwayak Cree Nation Sustainable Village Open House!

10th anniversary of UNDRIP: No reason for Canada to celebrate! – Idle No More




(Turtle Island/Tuesday September 12, 2017) September 13th 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a universal legal framework, which acknowledges the inherent collective human rights of the approximately 370 million Indigenous Peoples worldwide. Whilst a few celebrations of this anniversary are taking place in Canada organized together with establishment organizations who do not represent the grassroots Indigenous Peoples who are the proper title and rights holders, it is questionable, if the country has anything to celebrate about. According to the latest periodic report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD), Indigenous Peoples in Canada are still facing systematic racial discrimination in the enjoyment of their inherent rights.

Thirty years after Indigenous representatives first came to the United Nations in 1977, the General Assembly finally adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) on September 13th, 2007. Indigenous Peoples around the world celebrated this event as a milestone of their continuous efforts to have their rights acknowledged on an international level. 

The UNDRIP is the first UN document which entitles Indigenous Peoples not only to general human rights but also specific collective rights as Peoples, particularly concerning their right to self-determination, identity, culture as well as their Indigenous lands and resources.

Today Indigenous Peoples are an ever-growing presence at the international level and 10 years after its adoption, some countries have incorporated the declaration into their national law to set minimum standards for their relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

Regrettably so far, Canada has not appropriately implemented its obligations and duties towards Indigenous Peoples as laid down in the UNDRIP, which has already been criticized by many UN bodies and Committees, most recently by the UN CERD in August 2017.  

In fact, Canada was one of only four countries that actually voted against the UNDRIP at the General Assembly in 2007. Only after immense international political pressure did the Canadian government endorse the declaration in 2010, but with severe reservations.

In May 2016, Canadian federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Carolyn Bennett, announced the full support of the Declaration “without qualification” at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. However, she immediately contradicted this in her next sentence by stating that the government intends to “adopt and implement the declaration in accordance with the Canadian Constitution.” She therefore tried to subjugate international law to lesser national standards. This is in clear violation of any understanding of international law, according to which national laws and policies should only be passed if they conform with international law and not vice versa.

The recent periodic report from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), condemned racism and rights violations encountered by Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, echoing Indigenous Nations who made submissions to the committee on their experiences of racial discrimination since the past 150 years of colonial policy and law.

The UN CERD committee is “deeply concerned” by Canada’s continuous violations of the land rights of Indigenous Peoples “in particular environmentally destructive decisions for resource development which affect their lives and territories continue to be undertaken without the free, prior and informed consent of the Indigenous Peoples, resulting in breaches of treaty obligations and international human rights law.”

Collective land rights of Indigenous Peoples present a cornerstone of the UNDRIP, according to which Indigenous Peoples enjoy the right to own, use, develop and control their traditional lands, territories and resources as key aspect of their culture and identity.

The CERD report criticizes that for Indigenous Peoples in Canada “costly, time consuming and ineffective litigation is often the only remedy in place of seeking free, prior and informed consent” and is highly concerned that “permits have been issued and construction has commenced at the Site C dam, despite vigorous opposition of Indigenous Peoples affected by this project”. The Committee urges Canada to “immediately suspend all permits and approvals for the construction of the Site C dam” in British Colombia and to “incorporate the free, prior and informed consent principle in the Canadian regulatory system“.

Additionally, the Committee is alarmed at the continued high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls, urging Canada to take immediate action. The report also found that despite its previous recommendations and multiple decisions by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, “less money is reportedly provided for child and family services to Indigenous children than in other communities, and that this gap continues to grow”. According to the UNDRIP, states must “take measures, in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples, to ensure that Indigenous women and children enjoy the full protection and guarantees against all forms of violence and discrimination.” However, systematic discrimination of Indigenous women and children remains and Canada has failed so far in addressing root causes of this ongoing violation.

As part of Montréal’s 375th anniversary, a three-day event is organized in collaboration with the Montreal city government to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UNDRIP, Indigenous cultures and diversities in collaboration with establishment organizations which do not represent grassroots Indigenous Peoples who are the proper title and rights holders. While Indigenous Peoples, their rights, cultures and artists should be promoted and celebrated, cocktail receptions, acknowledging talks and free concerts are by far not enough. The UN CERD report clearly shows that Canada needs to do much more to address its long history of racial discrimination against Indigenous Peoples and to acknowledge their inherent, internationally recognized rights as Peoples.


For more information contact:

Russell Diabo:             Cell: 613-296-0110

Janice Makokis:          Cell: 780-915-0310

UNsettling 150: A Call to Action – Idle No More

18209227_849608381869001_5258809286770288861_o_(1).jpgIDLE NO MORE & DEFENDERS OF THE LAND: CALL TO ACTION

UNsettling Canada 150

In honour of Arthur Manuel, we call for a National Day of Action in support of Indigenous self-determination over land, territories, and resources

UNsettling Canada 150 Webinar

July 1, 2017

On January 11, 2017, our mentor, colleague, friend and brother, Arthur Manuel passed onto the spirit world at the age of 65.

Arthur Manuel was organizing to defend his Secwepemc peoples’ and all Indigenous Peoples’ Rights up to the day he was admitted into the hospital. In the last article he wrote before his passing he referred to the Canada 150 celebrations by stating: “I do not wish to celebrate Canada stealing our land. That is what Canadians will be celebrating on July 1, the theft of 99.8% of our land, leaving us on reserves that make up only 0.2% of the territories given us by the Creator.”

As part of his campaign against the 150th celebration in Canada, Arthur was also planning to go to Geneva to appear before the UN Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in August 2017 when Canada is scheduled to report on its treatment of Indigenous Peoples. He was preparing a counter-report to inform the world that the Trudeau government is maintaining the colonial Indian Act and its immoral, illegal land claims policies that deny Aboriginal collective title, treaty rights and our right of self-determination. We will send our own delegation, in Arthur’s words, to “escalate the assertion of our rights from a purely domestic strategy to an international strategy across nations.” (


In the spirit of Arthur Manuel, we want to make July 1 a National Day of Action. This day of action is to celebrate our Indigenous and human rights to self-determination, our lands, territories, and resources. It is also to educate Canadians about how their constitutional framework, first established 150 years ago in the British North America Act (1867), illegally confiscated our lands, territories, and resources, spawned the post-confederation Indian Act and attempted to write Indigenous jurisdiction— and Indigenous Peoples— out of existence.

This assault has not stopped. If anything, it has accelerated under the current government. Prime Minister Trudeau has been approving pipeline projects and continues to bank on the exploitation of our resources. He does not want to recognize Indigenous land rights. The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls continues to fall short and fail many families. We will be demanding that the Trudeau government respect our internationally recognized right of land and body self-determination, including our absolute right to Free, Prior, Informed Consent to any activities in our territories, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

This is a grassroots movement that will never accept any behind-the-scenes attempts to weaken our rights, like the closed door meetings of the Cabinet and a Ministerial Working-Group now underway with the three National Aboriginal Organizations (Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Metis National Council), led by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould.


Instead of backroom manipulations, we demand:

  1. a new open truly Nation-to-Nation recognition process that begins by fully recognizing collective Indigenous rights and Title, and our decision-making power throughout our territories.
  2. full implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls for Action, including rejecting the colonial doctrines of discovery and recognizing Indigenous self-determination.
  3. full implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the ground.

We recognize and affirm that jurisdiction over our lands, territories, and resources is inseparable from the issue of self-determination over our peoples. Violence against women, trans, and two-spirit Indigenous people is connected to the loss of authority over our lands. It is worsened by extraction industries that attempt to claim ownership to our lands and our people through acts of violence.


We ask that you, your community, and your organization join us to send a loud and clear message to Canada and the world that we will no longer accept the colonial system of dispossession, dependency and oppression that Canada has imposed on us for the past 150 years.

  1. Join a national action – find one near you
  2. Take Local Action
  3. Host an event, such as a rally, or a public forum. Email us to let us know what you are planning.Use the subject “National Day of Action Event.” We’ll promote it on our Idle No More events calendar and post your pictures on social media on July 1, 2017.
  4. On July 1, 2017, wherever you are in Canada, take to social media

Tag us @IdleNoMore4 & the Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau and any other government official or agency related to your issue

Use hashtags: #UNsettleCanada150 #SupportIndigenousSelfDetermination #Resist150 #UNDRIPInCanada #FPICInCanada.

Change your Facebook banner to promote this campaign and your activism (see attached banner)—keep it up as long as you like!

Wear Indigenous Rights red & post a picture of yourself taking action to the Idle No More Facebook page. (use the symbol @ before typing Idle No More to tag our page)


  • Family of Arthur Manuel
  • Defenders of the Land Network
  • Idle No More Network
  • Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade
  • The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples
  • Indigenous Climate Action
  • Unist’ot’en Camp
  • Secwepemc Women Warrior Society 
  • No More Silence
  • The Shuswap Lake Coalition
  • No One Is Illegal – Toronto
  • No One Is Illegal – Vancouver Coast Salish territories
  • Rising Tide North America
  • Immigration Legal Committee – Law Union of Ontario
  • Algonquins of Barriere Lake First Nation
  • Wolastoq Grand Council
  • Dr Lynn Gehl
  • Barriere Lake Solidarity
  • Mining Injustice Solidarity Network
  • Naomi Klein
  • Red Nation (Albuquerque)Eagle and Condor Community Center
  • Decolonize this Place
  • NYC Stands with Standing Rock Collective
  • The Latinx, Afro-Latin-America Abya Yala Education Network (LAEN)
  • The Great Lakes Commons
  • Fossil Free Guelph
  • Radio-BED
  • Native Land 150
  • Critical Race Relations Consulting
  • Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP)
  • Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, Mi’kmaQ territory
  • Indigenous Women’s Association of the Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Territories Inc.
  • Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW)
  • The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu and Mining Injustice (WCCC)
  • ALBA Canada
  • Tonatierra
  • The Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network
  • Silence No More
  • Metis Empowered Together In Solidarity
  • The LEAP Organizing Team
  • Between The Lines
  • The Council of Canadians
  • International Human Rights Association
  • of American Minorities (IHRAAM)
  • Jean Arnold – The Analog Forestry Network
  • The Punch Up Collective
  • Canadian Dimension magazine
  • In Solidarity with all Land Defenders
  • We Love This Coast .com
  • Graphic History Collective
  • Toronto Network of Engaged Buddhists
  • Buddhist Civil Liberties Association
  • Toronto Buddhist Peace Fellowship
  • Divest Mount Allison University on Mik’maq territory
  • Climate Justice Montreal
  • IPSMO (Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement -Ottawa)
  • Water is Life: Coalition for Water Justice

Have your group join us by endorsing the Day of Action! Send your endorsements to:

Want to host your own event in your own territory? Send us your event details. Be sure to include the venue name, venue address, city, province, time and duration of your event, event host and event host contact info. It is up to you, your group or org to provide us with up to date details for your event, should changes be necessary for your event page on the Idle No More website. Send you detailed event listing to:

Facebook Event Page




Why I Still Have to March – Idle No More

IMG_20170121_134758.jpgLast Saturday during my participation in the Women’s March on Washington: Toronto I was asked many times “Why do you march?” My answer was the same every time, “First Nations women in so-called Canada do not have the same representation, rights, liberties and freedoms that Canadian women are entitled to, in abundance.”

I went there to tell my fellow marchers about the racist and patriarchal Indian Act policies forced upon Indigenous communities; policies that are currently used to govern the First Peoples of Canada. I was there to share my story of injustice and inequality with everyone. I was there to share this information on fliers I wrote up and printed, which tell of my experience with corrupt politics that will possibly dispossess me from the traditional territory of my ancestors. I went to let others know that I can potentially become a refugee from my own territory thanks to these archaic Canadian laws, which were not ever meant to help the Indigenous Peoples on this land we now share. These things are happening now, in real time, across the country.

The first thing that struck me as I walked towards the front of Queen’s Park was the very small numbers of Toronto police officers compared to their heavy presence I am accustomed to seeing at any of the rallies that POC have organized in the city of Toronto. The second thing that struck me was the enormity of the the crowd that had gathered together. It instantly overwhelmed me and, I won’t lie, the tears of sisterhood welled up in my eyes and for several moments I needed to stop and breathe just so I could regain my bearings. I wasn’t sure how I was going to find my Indigenous sisters and brothers in that massive crowd but I headed to where the march was beginning, knowing that was where I should find the Indigenous block and would soon be hearing their drums.

IMG_20170121_140415.jpgAlong the way I was stopped several times for some pics of my t-shirt and Thunderbird woman banner selection for the Women’s March by non-POC settlers. This picture taking soon started to make me feel as though they only wanted to show on social media exactly how “diverse” the crowd was that Saturday, instead of engaging with me in a meaningful way. By the time I had weaved through the crowd to the front of the march, I still hadn’t found any of the folks that I usually rally with around Indigenous rights issues and environmental issues. I began to feel isolated amongst all those women. The initial joy I had felt was quickly dissipating until I met up with other Anishinaabe Nation members, Peter and Ann, which really helped me stay focused on the reasons I was there in the first place.

I never did find the Indigenous block at the front of the march as I had expected. We ended up being but a handful of Indigenous women leading the march and we had to really hold our ground to maintain that physical position. I stayed and marched because all the women trying to take our space need to know that we do not have the same women’s liberation that they were feeling in that moment. Indigenous women like Darlene, like Marie, like myself are fighting against our own people who have now willingly become the Indian Agent, dealing out injustice, land theft, housing insecurity and ongoing human rights violations across Turtle Island. Many of us may have been on separate roads, but they all lead us to the same issue: our own folks are oppressing us using old Canadian laws. First Nations governments are accepting and embracing those governance laws that are not our own. They are not our laws developed for and by us. They are not our way of governance and never have been.

Another reason I came down from Muskoka for the march was to hold space for Indigenous women, whose voices are often forgotten about and left out of conversations about equal rights. Canadians believe that Indigenous people are making progress when they see women like Jody Wilson-Raybould appointed as justice minister by Justin Trudeau or former Liberal candidate and practicing lawyer Trisha Cowie as success stories to Canadians. They ask: How can Indigenous women not celebrate success when they have such successful women representing them in the state of Canada?

In my opinion, these women are not leaders that I would ever look up to. These are not Indigenous women who are helping other Indigenous women but women who work towards furthering the interests of Canada. When the “Hon.”Jody Wilson-Raybould announced the backing out of the Liberal campaign promise of full implementation of UNDRIP into Canadian law, although not a surprise, it still felt very treacherous to me. I needed to be at the Women’s March to educate Canadians that this is happening here and now to our people by our people. That campaign promise very likely secured many of those record numbers of Indigenous voters, many of who had historically never voted in Canadian elections. Those interests Canada has are not even remotely similar to the fight for self-determination that the grassroots people have been fighting for generation after generation.

IMG_20161124_163433.jpgIf these non-Native people at the march had the ability to look in closer within our communities, they would be able to see marginalized people like my family and I, who are current targets of our own successful people like Trisha Cowie. You would see those who use Canadian laws to perpetuate housing insecurity, land theft, suppression of the people’s voices and ejection from the communities where they have built their lives. The laws on reserve are not the same as in the rest of Canada and it is quite common for our folks in power to oppress and deny basic human rights from those without power. Maybe the Canadian government thought they were helping Indigenous families when they passed Bill-S2 into law but unfortunately the MRP laws have been absolutely inaccessible for the families those changes had been designed to protect. I was at the march to make this fact known to those who believe they are united in protecting women’s rights, while some of us are on decades-long lonely struggles for a small scrap of alleged equality.  Ask Sharon McIvor or Lynn Gehl about their struggles for equality for Indigenous women and their children. Ask me about about the inaccessibility of the matrimonial property rights on a reserve after the breakdown of your marriage, on a reserve that is not your own.

I was at the Women’s March because so many of us couldn’t be there because of the oppression Indigenous people are all facing both on and off the reserve. I was there because our Indigenous voices are left out of women’s liberation conversations time and time again. I was marching because after hundreds upon hundreds of years of assimilation and genocide policies created by dead white christian men, our communities still suffer together under the archaic Indian Act policies, which were meant to be the beginning of our end. Those laws are still in place but the only difference now is that they are being used by our own people to continue the oppression by many so-called community leaders, on the lands our ancestors tried so hard to protect for the future. I am that future. The fight passed on to me continues.

One of the biggest reasons I came to the march was to make sure the Indigenous Women’s voices were represented on this historic day. I came to counter the federal Liberals narrative of progress for Indigenous folks. I came because those same women politicians who were marching with me are telling Canadians untruths. I wanted their audience to realize that all is not well for Indigenous women, men, non-binary people, and children in the state of Canada and they need to ask us what is really happening to us. I went to let Canadian women know that within the laws of the Canada, I am not their equal. Our children are not their children’s equal in the eyes of the federal government. We are still fighting for equality in your systems.

As I sit here I keep wondering, will you all still be there for the 27th Annual February 14th Women Memorial rallies and marches being planned across the country? I know we cannot expect all of you, but I hope to see many more of you representing your sisterhood in solidarity, like we did for you on the January 21st Women’s March. Whether you show up or not, I will continue to march on towards a just future for my descendants even when I have to do it almost alone at the front line, at my front door.


Tori Cress/Negonzit Kwe, Anishinaabe Nation

First Three Photos: Tori Cress
Last Photo Credit: Women’s March Photo by John Rieti of CBC

Deeds Not Words Call To Action – Idle No More

4nationa-Day-action-clr.jpgComing this October 10th Idle No More has answered the call out for #DeedsNotWords National Day of Action. We invite all peoples to join us in calling out the Trudeau Liberal gov’t on their growing list of broken campaign promises that previously gave a great deal of hope to many indigenous communities across this country. Idle No More organizers from across Turtle Island are making plans in their territories including Treaty 6, Toronto and on the East Coast are confirmed. We invite you to organize in your region in whatever capacity you are able to. Send us your Facebook event page we can include in the event page listings on Facebook, or email us your details and we can create and event page listing on the website for you. Send all your event information, time, location of event and pictures to

We call on everyone to take action in whatever capacity they can. Water Ceremonies, Prayer Walks, Pipe Ceremonies, round dances, banner drops, awareness handouts, traffic slow downs or whatever you are safely capable of organizing in your community for a National Call Out to Action, helps more than you may ever realize. Our stand for something as basic as clean drinking water is something we demand for all people, because we know how hard it is to go without something many take for granted.

Promises of clean drinking water, a basic human right. Promises of equal education funding for our children, another basic human right. Promises of implementing the UNDRIP into Canadian Law, which had many people doubtful would actually transpire. These are but a few of the so called renewed “Nation to Nation” campaign promises that had indigenous folks clamoring to the elections polls, many for the first time ever.

Now those same people are coming to the realization that it was but another trick in our long and deadly “Nation to Nation” relationship with Canada. Across our beautiful shared country, mega-projects are getting a fast green lights despite very vocal and active opposition from a long list of indigenous communities. Reopening mines and granting permits on lands that have been devastated by tailings spills. Communities continue to be poisoned by water that is wastefully polluted in the name of industry and so called development. Even on the international level this gov’t has gone back on their commitments made to reduce emissions and pushes through dirty, unsustainable energy at the #COP21.

It is quite clear to most of us at this point, that as far as Indigenous Rights in this country is concerned, is it business as usual under all of Harper’s destructive policies that never had respect for the First Peoples of this country. No free and prior informed consent (#FPIC) policies have been implemented, nor will any be any time soon. Unaccessible consultations is still the trick used only under a new name with some new shiny faces.
So far the Trudeau gov’t has made a portfolio of photo ops of handshakes. And that is all that is happening for our people. Our communities won’t see any funding for years and in the meantime we will continue to be underfunded and under the current gov’ts thumb.

We demand that the Trudeau government to take credible and immediate action to:

  • Implement UNDRIP in Canadian law.
  • Clearly indicate it respects Indigenous Peoples’ right to say no to development on their land. (This means Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, not manipulated sham consultations)
  • Stop the Site C dam
  • Close the funding deficit for First Nations now
  • Stop pipeline, gas, and oil megaprojects: build green energy, transit, and houses
  • Introduce a climate plan that respects the 1.5-2 degree temperature target that Canada helped negotiate in Paris. Adopting Harper’s emission reduction targets is a betrayal of that commitment.
  • Fully fund Indigenous-owned and controlled renewable energy projects.

We ask First Nations and allies on both sides of the medicine line, on the land or in cities, to respond to this call by undertaking action, in accordance with their own capacities, responsibilities, and their protocols. This Thanksgiving, Indigenous communities and supporters will be conducting actions, holding ceremonies, and gatherings across Canada to protect land and water and to demand the Trudeau government stop pretending, and start acting like it respects our rights. It is high time for deeds, not words.

We will be adding local events on these websites. Check here to see if something is happening around you:


Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines
ALBA Canada
Algonquins of Barriere Lake
BorealAction -Treaty 6 Idle No More
Chippewas of the Thames
Ellen Gabriel, Kanehsatake Mohawk
Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
Greenpeace Canada
Idle No More
Idle No More Duluth
Idle No More Duluth Wolf Action
Idle No More Toronto
Idle No More Ontario
Leap Manifesto
Long Beach Gathering
No One is Illegal – Toronto
No One is Illegal – Coast Salish Territories
Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaq Nation
Red Nation – 2nd Annual Indigenous Peoples Day
Rising Tide Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories
Say “No” to Site C Dam
Secwepemc’ulecw Grassroots Movement
Stop Alton Gas
Unist’ot’en – People of the Headwaters
Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network
Womens’ Committee of the Defenders of the Land network

Poster Artist: Tannis Nielsen
Find more of Tannis’ art supporting the Idle No More Movement here:

INM & Jiimaan Collective – Standing Rock Solidarity Delegation – Idle No More

We as grassroots Indigenous women from Ontario, are traveling to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline once and for all. We are asking for your help with the cost fuel to get there and back again with our messages of solidarity. Any unused funds raised for fuels costs, will be donated equally between the legal defense fund for the Red Warrior Camp & the Sacred Stone Camp. You can help support our work by donating to our Fundrazer here,  PayPal here or etransfer to with the security word as Nibi.

Nibi1.pngFor tens of thousands of years our people have had a  profound spiritual connection the to land and water now known as North America. We understand the urgency to shut down projects like the DAPL, Mount Polley, Alton Gas, clearcut logging and the seemingly unregulated, state sponsored, corporate profit driven, destruction of our Mother Earth.


We support the frontline warriors at the Sacred Stone Camp & Red Warrior Camp. We are bringing with us our skills to share, our prayers to be lifted in as one voice and our love for Nibi (water) will be united. We will stand and help protect the sacred sites and stop the impending pollution of the drinking water of the more that 16 million people downstream from the DAPL project. Since first contact we have been defending the land for our future generations and now we ask you to stand with us for the future of all of humankind. There is no need for corporations to continue to extract from the earth for unsustainable dirty energy projects.


We ask our Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Cree brothers and sisters of Ontario to ask questions at their band office. Find out where your communities money is invested. If we really want to help support our relations at Standing Rock, we need those boards and committees who oversee these portfolios to look at divesting from pipeline, mining, tar sands, logging investments. If you cannot be at Standing Rock physically, you can still stand with all those on the frontline of land and water defense by demanding to know how and where your community is investing your money. Where are your community (AANIT) payments coming from?


We are all connected to each other because of water. Water knows no race, no gender and no borders. Whatever you can do to help support those willing to put their bodies on the line at Standing Rock is needed. Here are many other ways that you can help:

  • Actions targeting financial institutions funding the pipeline are happening around the country between now and September 17. Learn more here and find an event near you here.

  • Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp legal defense fund.

  • Contribute to the Sacred Stone Camp supply fund.

  • Contribute to the Red Warrior Camp legal defense fund.

  • Purchase supplies for the Red Warrior Camp through this wishlist registry.

  • Call the White House at 1-202-456-1111 telling President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Find a target and use all your non-violent direct action know to organize a solidarity action.

  • Spread the word on social media using #NoDAPL #RezpectOurWater #RedWarriorCamp #SacredStoneCamp #IdleNoMore


We will being  travelling as a delegation to unite in solidarity for the water at Sacred Stone Camp and Red Warrior Camp in Standing Rock,North Dakota.


In solidarity,

Tori Cress, Idle No More Ontario

Crystal Sinclair, Idle No More Toronto

Becky Big Canoe, Jiimaan Collective