The themes you see below are meant to help guide and focus Idle No More actions and planning in Manitoba.
People are encouraged to think about one or more of these themes as they plan events and actions.
The themes were developed over several meetings between November 2012 and January 2013. Approximately 40 individuals from across the province participated in their creation. The ideas were summarized by organizer Jerry Daniels.
These themes are ever-evolving, ever-changing and will develop as our understanding and knowledge of the issues – and of each other – grows.
Spiritual Wisdom & Guidance
Listen to our elders
Include spirit in both processes and any future legislation
Remember the next seven generations when considering impact of choices and actions
Protect our waters and our lands
Understand that we are having a water crisis and need to promote responsible resource development
Remember it is our role as Indigenous people to be stewards and keepers of the land
Federal Legislation & Agreements
We must understand the Indian Act and how it affects us today (on and off reserve).
We must find ways to be well-versed in the treaties and agreements that apply to the land where we live/are from, though such documents may be difficult to understand/written in outdated language.
We must also be familiar with international legislation such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
History of European/Indigenous Relations
Understand that we had our own systems of justice, education, healthcare prior to contact with Europeans.
Recognition that the generosity of Indigenous people was necessary for the survival and establishment of the colony of Canada.
Education was a key agreement in most (if not all) treaties between Canada and the First Nations. The creation of Indian residential schools and the current under-funding of First Nations education did/does not live up to the treaties.
We have to understand what we mean when we say nation to nation
Something to consider: Is our reserve a nation, or is our nation something larger, bigger?
How do we work together to recognize what modern nations look like – both legally and practically?
We must work to understand both the economics and demographics in our communities.
Effective and Efficient Advocacy
We must organize quickly.
We have to listen to one another and create space for disagreement and discussion.
We have to develop outcomes (what we want an action or the movement to accomplish) and share them with others so we can grow the number of our allies and work towards our common goals.
We must operate from a strength-based approach and focus on solutions.
We will help one another, share our skills and learn from each other.