We are working with the other regions of the Idle No More movement to share updates and info as best we can. We are in this together. Idle No More Manitoba began in Winnipeg on November 19th, 2012 at a small meeting at the Indian & Metis Friendship Centre. it was in conjunction with a group of Canadian Senators having a meeting on human rights at that time/location. Next, came the first National Day of Action – Dec 10th 2012, organized in only 5 days by a group of youth previously unknown to one another. Over 400 people attended the rally at the Manitoba Legislative Building while at least 5 other communities participated with activities in their communities.
The seeds had been planted. At the Dec 10th event, a group of youth led a group of drummers and community members into the MB Legislative Building, respected Elder Raymond Robinson joined Chief Theresa Spence in her hunger strike and communities across our region were asking themselves ‘what can I do?’.
Then, on Dec 21st 2012 came the second day of action (now Global). close to 2,000 people gathering at the Oodena Circle at the Forks and then marching to the MB Legislative Building. Again, many other communities demonstrated their peaceful opposition – and unity – across the province and the world.
Since then the flash mob round dances have taken place all over this province in Thompson, Peguis, Opaskwayak, Fisher River, Norway House and Brandon. In Winnipeg alone there were large flash mob round dances at Polo Park Mall, Portage Place Mall, St Vital Mall & Portage and Main
2013 saw the movement continue with the large scale national days of actions, January 11th and January 28th which saw hundreds gather and the largest round dance Winnipeg has ever seen. The Manitoba Themes were created. We decided we wanted to focus on some regional concerns including helping Lake Winnipeg and addressing some of the mining concerns in Northern and South Western Manitoba.
In February we began to solidify our plans. We called attention to the many youth marching from First Nations communities in the name of protecting our water and our women. We need to acknowledge and appreciate their leadership and continue our work in spreading the message.
The media has not been covering the work we have been doing so WE must step up. There have been various teach ins, speeches, rallies and panel discussions where many of us have participated and continue to spread our message of education, spirit, unity and action.