Thousands of people across Canada mobilized Monday, 10 December 2012 under the banner “Idle No More” to protest the effects of current and proposed government policies on the nation’s indigenous peoples.
While it has received little mainstream media attention, Idle No More has capitalized on social media networks to spread information about the widespread rallies, protests, and roadblocks, causing the hashtag#idlenomore to trend on Twitter in Canada this week.
The rallies -which continue to take place in major cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Calgary- are the broadest expressions of discontent from First Nations that Canada has seen in years. The movement has been deemed by some as “Native Winter,” in the style of the “Arab Spring” revolutionary wave that overtook the Middle East beginning in December 2010.
In one of the more high-profile actions of the Idle No More movement, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike on Tuesday which she plans to continue until President Stephen Harper and Queen Elizabeth II agree to a treaty meeting with First Nations Leaders.