Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice
Program Topic: The Idle No More Movement
Key Discussion Points:
a) The Idle No More movement has roots in a series of recent draconian policy changes, initiated by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which seek to dramatically change the status of First Nations within Canada’s borders. The passage of laws C-38 and C-45 have cleared the way for the Canadian government to to seek so-called agreements with First Nations communities and individuals which would reduce their status to that of municipalities, erase treaty agreements, and dismantle communal lands.
b) Panelists at a talk at the University of Maine in Orono, underlined these changes would allow for unfettered access to natural resources and the transmission of pipelines, including and specifically for tar sands oil.
c) The Idle No More movement has served as a flashpoint for ongoing social movements for indigenous rights and sovereignty and environmental justice. Solidarity actions and organizing have taken place across North America in support of First Nations.,but also to highlight the ongoing struggles of indigenous people globally. In Maine, tribal members, and others, have been engaging in actions, education and organizing around the central issues of Idle No More.
Sheri Mitchell, founder and director of the Land Peace Foundation, Professor of — at University of Maine at Orono and member of the Penobscot Nation
Gkissitanemook, member of the Wapanoag tribe, professor of native Studies and Peace Studies at the University of Maine at Orono.