Today, Sámi Parliament President Egil Olli expressed solidarity with Idle No More, the ongoing protest movement originating among the Aboriginal peoples in Canada and comprising the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, and their non-Aboriginal supporters in Canada and internationally.
“I want from Sámediggi side to express our support and sympathy to the indigenous struggle in Canada. In particular, I wish to express my concern for the health of Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat nation, which now close to a month, went on hunger strike in protest against the narrow social and economic plight of Canada’s indigenous people live. I see it as natural that this will be one of the topics I will take up when I meet Canada’s Minister of Health in the Arctic Council 20 January.”
Yesterday the Church of Norway, including the Sámi Church Council, expressed solidarity.
The movement was launched in October, 2012 by four women (Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon, and Sheelah McLean). On December 11, 2012, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began a fast, requesting a face-to-face meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Governor General Stephen Johnston (the Queen’s representative) to discuss broken treaties and protection of natural resources.
While Stephen Harper has agreed to meet with Chief Spence, Stephen Johnston has denied her request.
Meanwhile, protests, drum circles, and fasts continue around the world in support of the movement. An interactive map of Idle No More events can be found here.
Learn more about Idle No More at this informative blog by Toronto journalist and Sami-American Krystalline Kraus (who many of us had the pleasure of meeting in Minnesota last summer at the 2012 Siidastallan).