Idle no more logo

History[edit | edit source]

How it got started[edit | edit source]

  • The founding members are Sheelah McLean, Sylvia McAdam, Jess Gordon, and Nina Wilson. These women started the campaign movement in Canada in late 2012 and it has since grown to an international revolution to protect the earth and indigenous sovereignty. They are now a globally recognized group that is fighting to support indigenous rights and land protection; they strive to uphold the indigenous connection to the land and the 'familial' relationship to the earth.
  • It all got started in Saskatchewan by four women who wanted to respond to federal legislation in Ottawa, threatening indigenous territory. They decided to do something about the injustice they believed to be against the First Nations and they decided they would be idle no more in the face of destruction to the earth.
  • They are currently heavily involved in stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline that would export oil from Canada ultimately to the United States, specifically to Texas. This is one of the major issues that the group is most well-known for.

Keystone XL Pipeline & Legislation[edit | edit source]

In addition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, there are other pieces of legislation that Idle No More holds issue with.

  • The Canadian government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper has passed or proposed a set of legislation directly related to First Nation's sovereignty and territories without First Nation consent.

Here are just a few of the bills that Idle No More takes issue with:

  • Bill C-38 (changes Canada's federal environmental legislation, removed protection to water/fish/environment.)
  • Bill C-45 (removes fish habitat protections and does not recognize Aboriginal commercial fisheries, and will change the number of lakes and rivers where navigation and federal environmental assessment is required from 32,000 to just 97 lakes, and from 2.25 million to just 62 rivers.)
  • Bill C-27 (imposes standards on First Nation government that exceed those for municipal, provincial and federal officials in other jurisdictions.)

What is Idle No More?[edit | edit source]

Idle No More is a grassroots campaign originating from the First Nations of North America, the indigenous people of Canada.

What they believe[edit | edit source]

  • "Colonization continues through attacks to indigenous rights and damage to the land and water. We must repair these violations, live the spirit and intent of the treaty relationship, work towards justice in action, and protect Mother Earth." [1]
  • As their people, land, water, and air are all affected by destruction to the environment, those involved believe they have an inherent right and responsibility to protect their earth. "Thus our nations will be Idle No More."
  • Idle No More has a vision that they "will continue to help build sovereignty and resurgence of nationhood," "to pressure government and industry to protect the environment," and "to build allies in order to reframe the nation relationship... by including grassroots perspectives, issues and concerns."[2]
  • The campaign urges individuals to join together and work toward a world where land and water are protected and honored, with respect to indigenous sovereignty and a familial connection to the earth.[3]

What they do[edit | edit source]

There are now events on an international level -- primarily in North and Central America: Canada and the United States; along with indigenous people of Mexico. From the Idle No More website, here is an events map they have produced:, just for an example of some of their events. From protests and demonstrations, to walks for peace -- there is a variety of ways the group shows solidarity and dedication to taking action and enhancing awareness.

  • All events oppose government colonial acts of legislation.
  • Upcoming events will be themed around Earth Day in April 2013.

How can I get involved?[edit | edit source]

Support them on social media & join local chapters[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Colleen Chalmers
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
Impact 209 page views
Created April 8, 2013 by Colleen Chalmers
Modified February 23, 2024 by Felipe Schenone
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