Idle No More is a Christmas gift to us all

Brigitte DePape on an unexpected offering at the end of 2012


The gift I will cherish most this holiday wasn’t a new pair of new slippers, another bar of soap, or an iPod. It was an unexpected offering, and one that many people have been asking for years.

In the face of a Harper majority government, which was elected with a mere 39 per cent of the vote in 2011, we’ve been asking for an end to unjust policies, and a transformation of a broken system.

In the face of climate change that threatens the survival of humanity, coming to the public consciousness in the 1960s with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and then by the UN Commission in the 1970s, we’ve been searching for a solution to a path towards a clean future.

Since the beginning of consumer culture, we have been searching for some kind of meaning amid all the stuff.

Since the 15th century and the beginnings of colonization, we’ve been searching for a way to face our history, and to transform relations between settlers (non-Aboriginal people) and First Nations.

All the things we have been asking for have arrived at a shopping malls near us — in the form of the Idle No More movement.

Instead of big signs of advertising for perfumes and shampoos, Idle No More is filling our shopping malls with posters and signs against Harper. I’m incredibly inspired by the young Indigenous women who began Idle No More to not only build in opposition to Bill C-45, which would reduce protections over waterways, but also to build a revolution for Indigenous sovereignty and to defend the earth. Idle No More is exposing the ruthlessness of the Harper government. Chief Theresa Spence is risking her life for all of us. Harper is letting Chief Spence starve, refusing to meet the simple ask of a meeting. But the strength and resolve of this leader in her 14th day without food is galvanizing opposition.

At shopping malls for Idle No More actions, our solution to climate change is not just buying another cloth bag or green toilet paper, but listening to elders talk about another relationship with the land and the water.

As articulated in an article in The Guardian about Idle No More, Aboriginal rights and treaties, which can mean vetoes over industry, are our best hope for defending the land, water and climate, and Idle No More gives us a chance to begin supporting them.

At stores during Idle No More round-dances, we don’t just see each other any more as someone who is in your way to get to the checkout counter, we look each other in the eyes, we talk and even join hands to dance. Instead of people getting mad at each other for taking the last Laura Secord box of chocolates, we find joy of our shared humanity.

Instead of shopping, we sing, dance, and come together for something bigger than Macbooks or Starbucks.

We make choices that are bigger than Coke or Pepsi. Rather than choosing to stay idle in the face of an unjust government, we choose to be active participants in our communities and our democracy.

Since the point of contact, colonial forces have tried to force Indigenous Peoples to conform to their ways. Here, we stand behind this wonderful movement led by Indigenous youth, we listen to the elders, we dance to the beat of their drum.

The protests across the country have sparked conversations about our colonial history and reality. We exchange about the destruction of residential schools the pillaging of Indigenous land to fill the jewelry stores, while communities lack running water and funding for education.

We talk about what a different relationship between Canada and First Nations could look like, one that is not based on dominance, but based on an equal, nation-to-nation way of relating to one another.

But what is a gift unless it is shared?

For so long, I felt isolated from much of my family because I felt I couldn’t talk to them about these issues and it created distance between us.

But, for the first time ever, I shared the joy of democratic demonstration with my family — my Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Grandma, and brother-in-law. There was nothing more special than huddling near the sacred fire with my brother in-law to listen to a former soldier speak in support of Idle No More. There was nothing better than making signs with my grandpa that read: “Harper, have you packed your bags yet?” and “Support Aboriginal Rights”. What an incredible joy!

Many gifts, think laptops and iPods, often make me feel further away from the people who are dear to me. But by joining in Idle No More, I feel closer now to my family and closer to a place of shared understanding.

And in the wake of the Idle No More demo we’d just participated in, at our family dinner this year, we didn’t just talk about the gravy, but about the ugliness and destructiveness of some of our history and our reality, and the incredible opportunity of this moment to be part of creating a brave and bright future for us all.

Brigette DePape is a Canadian youth leader and activist.


Idle No More is a Christmas gift to us all

  1. Thank you for a great article…

    • I read and felt your article, thanks for sharing. @handsome man your shared word reflects your handsomness ;)

  2. Beautiful. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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    • This comment was deleted.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Again, it was a neutral and independent Canadian court that found that appointing a third-party manager was completely “unreasonable in all circumstances”, rendering these allegations of mismanagement baseless.

          • Because appointing a third-party manager was “unreasonable”, does absolutely nothing to address the very real mismanagement on the reserve. You’re logic is so flawed, I can only assume you’re a member of the NDP.

          • I am guessing you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Have you read the judgement? It was deemed by a judge to be “unreasonable in all circumstances” because there was no evidence of mismanagement!!!!
            To level accusations of mismanagement, you need proof! You know
            -like the two sets of books handled for the F35 file!!!
            -or the 2 million earmarked for the G20 that was spent on a fake lake in Tony Clement’s riding!!!
            -or the 16$ orange juice for a disgraced conservative Minister who will now collect $700K in benefits of the next 15 years.
            -or the mere fact, that since they’ve been in power, the Conservatives have not been able to balance a budget
            Now that’s real mismanagement!!!!

        • You are full of e-coli Peter. The manager was appointed and did his job but found no problems with the books. Attiwapiskat took the government to court and won.
          CBC http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/08/01/pol-attawapiskat-court-ruling.html

          The Federal Court said today in a judicial review that it was “unreasonable” for the federal government to appoint a third-party manager in Attawapiskat last fall as the Ontario community was dealing with a housing crisis.

          Attawapiskat First Nation had applied to the court for a judicial review of the decision by Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan to have a third-party manager take control of the community’s finances.

          The Federal Court said today in a judicial review that it was “unreasonable” for the federal government to appoint a third-party manager in Attawapiskat last fall as the Ontario community was dealing with a housing crisis.

          • yah and we know the courts are full of liberal indian loving crap heads. Look at the stupid deal they just dealt to winnipeg compliments of the courts.

          • And that says absolutely nothing of the horrible mismanagement that lead the to the crisis.

    • Tell me more, Peterbenyk.

      Why do you suspect she ate well at Xmas? What evidence do you have?

      Who is undertaking a forensic audit on her reserve?

      If the audit you refer to isn’t completed how do you know that she needs to defend against charges resulting from it?

      What $34 million hasn’t been accounted for? If you don’t know where it went how do you know that none of it went to housing on the reserve.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • You “suspect”. You “expect”. What do you know?

          Have you seen her in person recently or are you looking at media pictures? If it’s the latter do you know the date that the pictures were taken?

          What Band books aren’t open? The Band posts it’s financial statements at:


          I can’t see it in the statements but I’ll rely on you to provide the evidence that $34 the million disappeared.

          It’s not obvious to me so please show me the “pittance” spent on the reserve and the path of that spent off the reserve.

          • That’s not the whole story!! Ultimately, it was a neutral and independent Canadian court that found that appointing a third-party manager was completely “unreasonable in all circumstances” rendering these allegations of mismanagement baseless. Unfortunately, the facts don’t seem to hinder the credulity of most people.

          • Crawl back under your rock Peterbenyk. YOU are a wind bag idiot. He is angry with the world and probably his own short end of the stick…

          • Con dupes like Peterbenyk spout the con dupe screed without understanding why. Such is the nature of the con-dupe

    • Hey, have a heart! Dont you know that they pay $18 for a 4L bag of 2% milk!? And that they pay more to fly from Attawapiskat to Moosone return than to go on vacation for two weeks in Jamaica! Just saying do your research before you go and judge!

      • Bravo Jessica!

    • Where do you get your information Peterbenyk? Your comments are nasty and uneducated….

    • usually i don;t reply to this kind of bunk, but, well, its XMAS. you rail against this and express your disbelief because you yourselt cannot imagine standing up for anything other than your own self interest. Watch. Have the good grace to just watch and see what happens. There is no forensic audit going on at Attawapiskat. The demand to open the books was just an effort by the feds to draw attention away from the real issues. shame on you. did your mother teach you no manners? Does it not even give you pause? I realize that the changing of the status quo is terrifying to you children of privilege but we are not like you. we would NEVER treat you the way you have treated us

      • blah blah, here have some more canadian tax payer dollars. After all, that is the ONLY reason why this is going on anyway.

  4. We are thankful for these
    all the good things of life.

    We recognize that they are a part
    of our common heritage
    come to us through the efforts
    of our brothers and sisters the world over.

    What we desire for ourselves tonight
    we wish for all Canadians.

    We wish this especially for Chief Theresa Spence;
    we wish this for the Attawapiskat First Nation
    and we wish this for all of our Aboriginal sisters and brothers
    who do not yet, have fair access to
    the good things we enjoy here tonight.

    To this end,
    may we take our share
    in the world’s work
    the world’s struggles.

    Adapted from J.S. Woodsworth’s “Grace”
    for the Offermann family dinner
    at Nelson BC
    Christmas Eve, 2012

  5. Pack up and leave Canada if you don’t like what’s happening in Canada “IDLE NO MORE” movement is only a beginning.

    • Exactly!

    • I always wondered why the neo Con, capitalist gun lovers were so intent on transforming Canada into Texas North when they could just go and live there where it’s nice and warm. Can’t figure it out for the life of me.

      • They are not intelligent. talented or skilled enough to be able to get a green card.

        • But we’re intelligent enough to out-fundraise you and beat you handily where it counts: at the ballot box. Suck it up, us Canadian neo-cons are here to stay.

          • Not really. Cheating doesn’t count, you know it, we know it, harpo knows it, and all his sock puppets know it. If you are really dumb enough to believe he didn’t cheat in this election, you must be addle-pated. On the other hand, that you may well know he did, and don’t care … well, we know where that leaves you as well…

          • Ah, yes. Typical of the left. They can’t quite believe that the rest of us voted for the Conservatives. Harper must have cheated or we’re deluded.

          • Both

          • Well, one thing we know for sure;The NDP and the Liberals cheated. That is never pointed out by the Harper haters. They simply do not want to accept that reality.

          • that is the attitude that will insure the opposite, you arrogant twit

          • Whereas blocking trains and cars, causing havoc, and generally disrupting peoples’ lives will work SO well for the left. LOL

          • FN is not the left

          • NO FREAKING WAY. Bro pack your bags. Canada is not NAZI and this PM is out

      • Why would us neo Cons leave? It’s our country as much as yours and we won the election to boot. Just because your party is bankrupt and in third place isn’t our problem.

        • JT crushing harpergoon and soon

          • Oh ya, Junior’s a real winner. Once anybody gets beyond his bromides and platitudes, it becomes abundantly clear that Junior is in so far over his head it’s scary. Every time he opens his mouth he either say something incredibly stupid, or contradicts something he’s said in the past. He thinks Canadians are idiots. Canadians see it the other way around.

          • Guess that is why his popularity is running wild eh dupe? lol

          • Who, Harper’s? Yes, he has won more votes and seats each and every time he’s gone into an election.

            As for Junior, his polling is all over the map: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/why-liberal-polling-numbers-are-all-over-the-map-and-its-not-just-justin-trudeau/article6736668/

            Probably because just as you Shiny Pony fans get mesmerized by his hair, he goes and puts his foot in his mouth, again.

            By the way, what does it say about the Liberal Party if it’s membership is actually stupid enough to vote for a part-time high school drama teacher over AN ACTUAL ROCKET SCIENTIST?! Doesn’t say anything good.

          • Why don’t you use your real name, what are you hiding, you sound like a coward to me!

          • don’t want dupes slashing my tires now do I

      • LInda,
        Nice generalization there. Just because someone doesn’t sing the NDP agenda when they get up in the morning they are gun loving Texan wannabe’s. It might be that people that voted for Harper didn’t agreed with everything he does but saw him as the best option. It doesn’t make them gun loving, Republicans.

    • Careful what you wish for Ronnie, pack up and leave? Where will the money come from? Or will you go back to your roots?

      • Dah! He means you!

  6. This comment was deleted.

    • Harper pees on democracy regularly and you applaud everything he does. Your criticism is a bit rich.

    • Free speech is “disgusting” and “disrespectful”?

      Please explain how that is a threat to Canada’s democratic institutions.

    • do NOT talk about “pissing on Canada’s democratic institution.” the only one pissing on our democractic insitutions is Harper with his slimy omnibus bills that deny ALL Canadians the right of reply, comment and consideration.

      • an omnibus bill does nothing to deny anybody the right of reply, comment, and consideration. Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. You might need to read above a 3rd grade level, but with a bit of work I think you could achieve that.

    • Thanks for sharing Tiny Tory.

    • “disgusting and disrespectful” free speech?

      Maybe you should move to China? or perhaps Russia? Yes I’m sure you would like Russia.

      • You don’t believe free speech can be disgusting and disrespectful? Does that mean that no speech is disgusting or disrespectful? If that were the case, I’d have a few choice words for you.

        • So gun rights trump free speech in your world?

          • WTF is that even supposed to mean? Time to put down the egg nog.

        • You are completely free to speak them. Hugs

    • the Harperor has friends in Russia, I’m sure he could set you up with a nice condo in the capitol easy peasy.

    • When did the “Occupy” movement morph into the “Idle” movement. Reading this article was like reading the rantings of some brainwashed, braindead cult member. Like a Manson Family manifesto. What utter drivel, if it wasn’t so pathetic it would be funny. Someone has Daddy issues… Poor little girl needs some serious psychiatric help. A little brainwashed girl desperately screaming for attention is not “journalism”. MacLeans should be embarrassed for publishing such utter nonsense.

  7. I’m a big supporter of Idle No More but reading this simplistic, and downright stupid account of it makes me wonder if Maclean’s brought in Brigette DePape so it would be easier for serious people to dismiss what is real and important movement.

    Most of all, shouldn’t an Aboriginal person be explaining this?

    Aboriginal Canadians can speak for themselves they don’t need self-important and self-righteous white people to do it for them.

    Most of all, what has DePape ever done beyond holding up a sign in the senate?

    • Its important to appeal to all levels of consciousness. This is just another opportunity to do so. Please show love and appreciate that there are some who show support in different ways. Nonetheless, its support.

    • There is no real shortage of people doing just that. What they’ve written is an emerging canon that holds down the core momentum of the movement. What’s beautiful is watching their message draw in supportive perspectives like what Brigette has shared here. It’s exactly that, a level of well articulated honest and joyful consciousness. I hope you continue to explore ways to support Idle No More and encourage you to google Chelsea Vowel. Wab Kinew. Ryan McMahon. & hear this: http://m.soundcloud.com/janet-marie-rogers/giving-a-shit

  8. Nice article! I myself was moved by this movement. I lit the sacred fire and I’ve never been so close to nature. Sometimes I wish people could see what I see. Merry Christmas!

  9. What an immature, disrespectful, and appallingly ill-informed collection of tripe. I’m surprised and disappointed to see Macleans, as a national magazine meant to inform with facts and engage with reasoned argument, give a forum to such junior high analysis. There are some credible arguments to be had by this foolish “movement” (not many,but a few), but not even those could be found in this essay. Macleans has a responsibility to show both sides of a debate, but surely there is someone better able to provide a reasoned, logical and objective argument on behalf of those who truly believe in the actions by Chief Spence and her merry band of protestors.

    • Read the bill, C-45, read our Bill of Rights, read the Constitution. Realize that our democracy does not serve YOU. It serves “the crown”. “People” are just a fiction created to enable control.
      Native Indians are our first source of protection of our Canadian land mass and we would do well to support them.

      • oh please! your so uninformed…fyi…just cuz you can read doesn’t mean you understand anything (and that includes c-45)

      • Cindy, if I understand you correctly I have to disagree. The native indians were in the process of hunting the buffalo into extinction. Yes, I know, it was the introduction of the horse by the Spaniards that allowed the plains indians to hunt so indiscriminately. However, it shows that given new technology, they were just as greedy and lacking in foresight as european culture. Native indians aren’t our first source of environmental protection. In fact they were the first source of willful environmental exploitation. No one wants to say it, but they are currently using the environment as a political tool…just as everyone always has…unfortunately.

      • Just what have “native Indians” done to protect “our Canadian land mass”???

    • I totally agree. Well said.

    • What a nasty thing to say to someone speaking their heart in an editorial…open your eyes ans see the destruction of our waterways and forest and prairie…know where the money goes? Get off your snooty arse and really see this country for yourself, leave the main road…just look.

      • I have been fortunate enough to see more of this country than most of my fellow Canadians. I’ve travelled it from end to end, lived and worked in large cities and in small towns. I’ve road tripped, camped, explored and experienced. And in each and every moment, I felt unbelievably fortunate to live in such a beautiful country that includes more area of pristine mountains, forests, coastlines, rivers, and lakes than any other country on the globe. I’ve felt equally fortunate to live somewhere that offers such limitless opportunity to each and every citizen who wants to work for it.

        When I look at Canada, what I see is a country that does a remarkable job of preserving our abundant natural spaces, offering a helping hand to those who need it, AND maintaining an economy that brings a standard of living most people around the world can only dream about. It’s too bad you can’t see the same thing.

        • Yes, past governments have done a fine job of preserving Canada’s beauty and wild spaces, though not so well with regards to First Nations. But Harper is a completely different animal (sorry, no offence intended to animals). He is owned by corporations and will let them rape and pillage this country to their hearts’ content. Don’t think that you can sit back and let him do what he likes and that your beautiful natural spaces and standard of living will remain as they were. We are all going down the toilet under Harper (ew, sorry for the disturbing image)

          • My comment stands, regardless of which political party happens to be forming government at any time – they’ve all been in power at one time or another and Canada has not only survived, it’s just kept getting better. If you want me (and millions of other Canadians) to believe differently, quit the infantile blathering, get informed (watching Youtube videos by similarly-minded conspiracy theorists does not count) and present some objective, factual and persuasive arguments.

          • Nothing infantile or blathering CindyLaurel – it’s you that needs to get informed, do your own research, stop listening to the rhetoric of the lying cheating cons (c.r.a.p.) actually, and see the evidence before you …. in all of your travels, umm, have you seen the ‘beauty’ of Ft Mac lately? You know, the breathtaking tailing ponds, etc…….

          • Oh no! Tailing ponds! Why does 0.001% of Canada’s landmass represent 100% of it to you? Have you tried going for a walk outside of Calgary, or Edmonton? Sure, pick the worst spot in the country and claim that’s somehow representative of the rest of it. Whatever.

          • LOL – pushed a button did I?? Don’t bother to respond Rick – I have nothing to discuss or in common with cons – or con trolls .. you speak GREED … I speak life, love, health! For our water, our sealife, our environment in general, now and in the future….

          • Cheena, people that support the CPC should not all be classified as liars and cheaters. Just as I would object to someone classifying all natives, or supporters of the NDP in that manner. You remarks lower the discussion in my view.

          • George – you need to read my comments again… I was not stating that ‘all ppl that support the cpc are liars and cheaters’. I stated that the ‘cons c.r.a.p.= conservative-reform-alliance-party’ are liars and cheaters. I assumed everyone would realize I was speaking of the party and its faux pm , not necessarily its supporters.
            I’m quite sure there are many cpc supporters that simply watch the tv ads (pd for with our tax $$), listen to the BS rhetoric on/in the msm re: what they’ve done, what they will do, etc etc for Canada….. I’m quite sure some are mesmerized by the constant assault of their p.r. .
            I’m just as sure that many are elderly ppl that loved Diefenbaker and assume this is the same party …… FAR FROM IT!! I don’t believe the current cpc party has even one ‘real conservative’ in it. Any real conservative mp’s I’ve heard of would not allow themselves being whipped to vote to the faux pm’s support, but would honestly represent their constituents.

          • I assume you’ll blame Harper for the Sydney Tar Ponds too, even though that started in the early 1900s. Canada becomes a better place to live every single day, unless you’re a hyper-partisan special interest group.

          • At Last! Someone has the courage to tell the truth about the Sydney Tar Ponds’s – Harper also created those. I have always suspected. I think I’ll post that on the CBC forums. I’ll get ton’s of thumbs up comments.

    • Exactly! This whole “movement” is nothing more than Canada’s usual Professional Protesters needing to find something to do with their time. As with all of their protests, they seem to start by protesting one thing, but to get any support, it has to turn into a “protest” against everything. And now, shockingly, it seems to have simply turned into an “anti-Harper” protest, which is to say, a protest about nothing.

      • I had a bad hair day today. I’m sure that somehow, some way, it’s Harper’s fault.

  10. I have to wonder if the people that are dismissing Idle No More have read even a few of the 500 pages of C-45. I have, and I’ll tell you it’s scary. Even if you don’t care two cents for the “Indian” part of it, it’s some downright scary stuff. Heck, on the first page it states that the building of the Windsor bridge (another sneaky Harper move) is exempt from ALL environmental laws. How does that not make every one who lives in this country fume and rage? So go ahead and say you don’t care because it’s just a bunch of Natives whining, but be sure you’re learning Chinese and stockpiling water while you’re at it. You’re going to need it.

    • Talk about fear mongering. Sounds like you are still attempting to peddle the nonsense about Harper’s ‘secret agenda’.

      • Read it. Fear mongering implies that the fear shouldn’t be there. Did you vote for the Windsor bridge? Do you know we are footing the entire bill? That when it is built, only Canadians have to pay in order to cross it? Have you done any research whatever? It’s all well and good to support your party, heck, even Hitler had rabid followers. But what has he DONE that hasn’t hurt the environment? I’m not Aboriginal, but I can see what’s happening. Open your eyes.

        • Oh ya, all the rivers are flowing with oil and vegetation no longer grows anywhere, except for Palm trees up in the Tundra. We’re all completely doomed.

          • Her “childish attempt” has gotten the publicity it deserves.

      • Harper’s agenda is not ‘secret’. It’s right out there for anyone with eyes to see. It is ruining this country and people like you need to wake up and smell the rot.

        • Yes, Canada’s the worst country in the world.

          • it’s quickly becoming the worst country in the world. we rank among the worst when it comes to environmental issues. i am no longer proud to be Canadian

          • You’re free to leave at any time.

          • Time to check your facts. The hysteria on the left is unfathomable. Tend to your own life.

      • So, we’ll forget about the Rick Mercer Rant about Harper and his signing secret trade deals with China in a backroom in Russia. Let’s just leave it at our public servant PM Harper has let a woman go without food for 14 days because he doesn’t want to talk to her. What kind of human does that?

        • This comment was deleted.

          • Ne deserved it more than this charlaton.

        • You can’t stop running a country because of one person. If the PM caved in to every protestor, this country would be in disarray.

        • Her choice. Typical leftist idea that the person doing the thing is not responsible for their actions.

    • Kim you state: “on the first page it states that the building of the Windsor bridge is exempt from ALL environmental laws” Where on the first page? I have found the bill at the official Parliament of Canada website and can find no reference to the “Windsor bridge” on the first page. However, I might have missed it. Care to assist?


      • Got my page wrong, Section 3 and 4.

        3. (1) The Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act, the Species at Risk Act, section 6 of the International Bridges and Tunnels Act and the Port Authorities Operations Regulations do not apply to the construction of the bridge, parkway or any related work.
        3. (2) After completion of the construction of the
        bridge, parkway or any related work, as the case may be, any
        authorization that would have been required for its construction but
        for subsection (1), is deemed to have been issued for the purpose of
        the application of the Acts and regulations referred to in subsection
        4. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 does not apply to the bridge, parkway or any related work.


        • Sections 3 and 4 of which “Part”??

        • Nowhere does the act say that the bridge is exepmt from “ALL environmental laws”. It only says that it is exempt from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. BIG difference.

    • Nowwhere in the bill does it say that the Windsor bridge is exemppt from ALL environmental laws. You say you have read it, but that is obviously not true.

    • All these people have already decided that they don’t care Kim. Most people who don’t want to believe a government official would do that (have a personal agenda) probably aren’t taking their meds

  11. Canadians
    are done with the oppression,lying and deception being thrown in our
    face. Justice is being demanded. “Idle No More” is the body of the
    Canadian civil rights movement. Chief Theresa Spence is the heart of the
    Canadian civil rights movement. Chief Theresa Spence is the leader
    Harper will never be.

    • judging by her picture, she isn’t starving

      • Stay classy. Got a picture of yourself to share?

        • I didn’t realize that Pimnbvcxz was also pretending to be on a hunger strike.

  12. This comment was deleted.

    • Sad days ahead if Ogimaa Spence dies.

    • Lol Just another racist comment.. maybe if you would read a little more and get your facts straight.. we arent all freeloaders! We work, pay mortgages and taxes like everyone else.. the only free thing we get is our 5 dollars yearly.. a coffee and doughnutfrom timmies lol.. the PM thinks just because of his recent win he doesnt need to speak to the ppl.. i guess i dont know about you but i want protection of our water, land and resources.. that is our environment.. the air we freakin breathe, the water we drink.. we want canadians to benefit from our own lands and not other countries.. it is good to see our first nation ppl stand up for canadian lands.. obviously you dont care.. it will affect your future generations too!!!

      • Yah right, what about the 10 billion dollars the federal govt. gives to indian affairs every year. How much money do you guys want? You should all be millionaires now with all those tax dollars you get get from us.

        • tis true my fellow Non Aborignal peeps…every Native gets a whole $5 once a year on Treaty Day just for fun! Whoo fricken hoo! Bet you’re really jealous now?! Do you really believe they see $10 Billion a year?…How gullible are you? Do you think they deliberately live in poverty on bad land with handme down military houses and untreated water just pull one over on us…perhaps they’ve been using that money to build secret magic utopias they go at night?! Yes that must it…sheesh people doesn’t anyone think logically anymore?

          • Yes, so then explain to me what I have seen with my own eyes, why is it that the chiefs all live in very nice homes and have very nice vehicles, and yet the rest of their community lives in situations you describe above. There have been many documented case where the native leadership has screwed their own people over with our tax dollars(Virginia Fontaine Group for one example) and had a great time while their communities suffered. However let’s blame the white man for that to; and keep asking for more money. We need 100% total accountability of every single tax dollar given to these people. so that everyone, including the indian communities can see what is happening to all the money that is supposed to come to them but never arrives because of their own greedy leadership

        • and you really think that the money is going to some secret account or perhaps the Natives have built underground pleasure palaces secret from us but present an image of poverty above ground with bad land bad water and crap old post war military housing that was dragged accross the country and plunked down without foundation just to fool us all into thinking they have nothing???? I propose that 10 Billion is an outright lie on a federal spreadsheet…

          • No I am not saying that, but the money is going somewhere. I think it is time that the tribe leaders are held accountable to their own community members and explain clearly where is all the money they receive going. It is in someone’s pocket, and the native community and the tax payers have a right to know where it is.

    • What a vile little person you are. ignorance and bigotry at its worse. Disgusting:

      • here have a tissue and wipe your nose

    • bingo!!

    • agreed 10000%!!!!!

  13. Well said. The power of the IdleNoMore movement lies in linking people in more meaningful relationships, standing up for values that have been buried deeply or long forgotten, and taking back our sense of identity in a transformative, reconcilable manner.

    • But what does that mean? We aren’t on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Give us something concrete. IdleNoMore sounds like the same tired old complaints regurgitated as something new to the Canadian public.

      What do First Nations people have to offer to address their problems?

      If ‘others’ are to blame for all First Nation problems and ‘others’ are expected to somehow solve all First Nation problems, I’m afraid the cause will get nowhere.

      • What aboriginal peoples continue to offer we “others” is a share of their wealth in land and resources.

        But our federal and provincial governments won’t agree unless they can take virtually all of the aboriginal wealth by extinguishing their land and resource rights.

        One very important exception is the resource revenue sharing agreement between the Government of Quebec and the James Bay Cree.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • Canada is and has been ruled by law, not ass kicking, for some time now.

            Aboriginal rights including their rights to land were first recognized by a Royal Proclamation in 1763.

            The 1982 constitution protects the existing rights of Indian, Metis and Inuit.

            The Supreme Court of Canada has made decisions clarifying Aboriginal rights to land and resources since then.

            Federal and provincial government recognize First Nations’ rights to land and resources in many places including much of BC and the part of Ontario that includes Ottawa.

            That’s why they’re currently trying to negotiate land claim agreements.

            Sectors of the business community, notably the resource sector are calling for governments to share resource revenues with Aboriginal communities.

            Your argument that conquest is the basis for ownership of land and resources is one of those old tired defences used by many of us white men but it doesn’t apply in Canada.

          • spoken like a true white man lawyer making lots of money off of the tax payers’ backs supporting BS indian claims that you really don’t give a crap about. As long as those federal tax dollars keep rolling into your pockets you will say anything.

          • I think many lawyers would be offended by your conclusion that I am one of them because of the rather basic facts that I offered you. But I’m, (sheepishly) flattered. Thank you.

            I guess I wasn’t clear enough before. The federal and provincial governments recognize that the indian claims are not BS. They see them as legitimate. That’s why they’re negotiating.

            And while I would welcome federal tax dollars rolling into my pockets, they haven’t called me with an offer yet.

            I just trying to explain what I know so that people on all sides of the issue can at least use the same facts to discuss the issues.

            But moving on if you’re still interested. Aboriginal people have rights to the wealth of Canada’s land and resources.

            As the Supreme court says they were here first. I don’t think ass kicking counts in court but maybe you could appeal.

            Sharing fairly won’t break us. In fact our governments unwillingness to share fairly is a huge drag on the economy and that’s why members of the business community want resource revenue sharing with aboriginal communities.

          • Blah Blah, typical bleeding heart Liberal. You are alright with giving money away as long as it isn’t your own.

          • Ah yes, another ignorant comment which adds nothing to the discussion.

          • Oh, and your comment so enlighten to us all? Kay53 if you have nothing to add then just shut up. We don’t need more bleeding heart liberals in this country. If we let you have your way, there would be no country left for the hard working tax payers who support all of your “poor, poor, me programs”. With out our tax dollars what would you ever do? How could you survive?

        • When my mother was little she lived in James Bay she was non Aboriginal but her father worked for the band as their electric guy and she would tell me stories of people living together on the land in all seasons…how did that community survive being moved and having all their land flooded for a hydro project? Are they all independently wealthy? I don’t know a thing about their deal with Quebec so I am curious why you’ve excluded it from the list of other rip offs. I myself lived on band land in Manitoba as a kid because my mom was the nurse there. Baren and bleak for the most part, not a good source of food either by farming or hunting though it was on a lake so there was always fish…however the “reserve” has been shrinking for generations as surrounding towns peel away sliver after sliver…this a Human issue and we all must care.

      • nicely said

  14. Blah blah blah Harper is a bad guy blah blah blah democracy is bad blah blah blah Harper sucks blah blah blah and anything anti-Harper is automatically the most democratic and worty cause ever because conservatism is wrong because I a high-minded liberal that cannot see past my own nose says so.

    Blah blab blah blah blah blah.

    • Amen. Well said.

    • Yes you are correct when you state:
      “Harper is bad”
      “Harper sucks”
      “conservatism is wrong”
      Good work keep it up.

  15. Every time I see an incredibly mean spirited nasty and unchristian comment on these pages it is a Harper supporter. What does that tell you?

    • They never fail to include at least one racist comment, some tired attack on ‘liberals’ or ‘the left’ and completely whitewash even the most outrageous actions of this corrupt, dishonest and criminal government of ours. For these people, its all really simple, black or white and they just think we should do what they do and follow the leader like docile (probably sociopathic) sheep.

      • Hey, we know how to raise money and win elections. Which is a lot more then you can say.

        Maybe you should try some fundraising as your political party won’t be getting any more free cash from the government anymore.

        If democracy is too hard for you to handle and you can’t handle or accept losing based on the vote of the Canadian public, maybe you shouldn’t participate.

        • What does fundraising have to do with democracy?

          • Seriously! Talk about totally irrelevant! And Paul, I don’t have a party, whatever the hell that means.

          • Are you REALLY that dense?

          • I suppose I’m every bit as dense as you are cynical.

    • What does it tell me? Not much. There are cruel folks in every party. But progressives remain the cruelest most undemocratic bunch of all. Their slanders against Harper who won a majority fair, square and legally will not be forgotten.

      • O my, I laughed so hard – almost wet my drawers! Do you do stand-up regularly? Comedy Club or??

      • Really? So you do not think there is a difference between saying nasty things about an individual or a political group for their policies as opposed to saying nasty things about a group for their religion, ethnicity or race? I am surprised you can’t see the difference.

        • If people slander the natives it is probably because they have seen the terrible things that they have done. We have ALL seen it, people like you just choose to ignore it.

    • Harper supporters are incredibly mean spirited nasty and unchristian, add not to bright and easily duped by slogans.

      • And Justin Trudeau supporters are brain dead imbeciles who’d vote for a guy because of his shiny pony hair. Oh, and if you’re going to attack people’s intelligence, you might want to work on the typing a bit first, genius.

        • i was copying the dupe screed spouted in the post above.
          now we have you spouting dupe screed as well, thats a good little harper-dupe lol

          • Oh my bad. You’re just so much more intelligent than me, and I can’t possibly think for myself. I’d forgotten that all independent thought comes from far-left radicals who’ve never had a job in their lives. Carry on, since you don’t seem to have any points or evidence to backup your infantile claims.

      • Yes, all Conservative supporters are bad people, while all Liberal and New Democrat and Green Party supporters are good people. Life is very simple and black-and-white.

        • Most cons are manipulated fools, not actually bad just duped.

          • Get a grip man.

          • I think you mean open your eyes dupes

    • Like all those conservatives that call Rob Ford a fat pig and Harper a Nazi

      • Did you post to the correct article? I don’t see anything about Rob Ford on here. However calling an individual a name because you don’t like him and his policies has nothing in common with slurring a whole ethnic or religious or racial group. Can you not grasp the difference?

        • Would you like to have the reference explained to you?

  16. Very odd. Only coverage on this issue by non-Macleans staff, released on Christmas Day, least likely to be seen. Explanation, editors?

    • Um – I think you just did! ;-)

    • It’s when they unload the “filler” material from “professional activists” that most people wouldn’t bother reading while taking a crap.

  17. Harper got 39% of the vote in the last election. That’s a lot. That’s a big election win right up there percentage wise with what the now nearly dead Liberals managed in decades past.

    Heck, even Elizabeth May only won her seat with a minority of votes yet she believes her win is legitimate but no one elses is. But heck, that’s why the Greens only have one seat nationwide.

  18. Greens got 3.9% of the vote, Libs got 18% and Dippers got 30%. BUT, all three of these parties are very different which is why they are separate political parties with vastly different agendas.

    So, we have the Conservatives with 39%. That’s majority legitimacy in the finest Canadian democratic tradition. Heck, neither Trudeau nor Chretien of the LPOC ever had the support of the majority of Canadians. Their majorities were always the result of substantially less then 50% of the Canadian vote.

  19. Keep it up, critical thinking Canadians! Paul S. will lose more sleep over this yet!

  20. wonderful, thank you…title threw me as that is not the reaction I heard at some christmas table discussion this season. I agree with you completely and sincerely hope many others will recognize and engage this window of opportunity. With threats to triple Tar Sands development at the top of the environmental disasters list – and – unconstitutional legislations and funding slashed in last hour attempts to quiet and dis-arm (so to speak) First Nations organizing groups – this fight might be the- ‘last fight’. We know what is at stake – it is the lives of future generations calling us, and we must act, or we fail them and us combined.

    • Ya, heaven forbid future generations learn to stand on their own 2 feet and provide for themselves.

  21. what a bunch of mumbo jumbo…is there some sort of real message in this garbage?

    • “Stop Harper,” I guess. A bit of a one trick pony, this girl.

  22. What we fail to realize is that to the Left, the word democracy really means socialist or communist. Which countries of the world include “Democratic” in their titles? The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), The German Democratic Republic (East Germany), People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria (authoritarian regime), Democratic Republic of the Congo. So when the left speak of a lack of democracy, they really mean our government has no socialism in it. Look at this sentence ” I shared the joy of democratic demonstration with my family.” Does that make sense? No. When you add the word “socialist”, it does. Whenever you hear the left complaining about the lack of democracy or a democratic deficit, it doesn’t mean what you think.

  23. Let me get this straight:

    After years of mismanagement – not all reserves, but most – and corruption, a bill is coming which will force bands to have a third-party auditor, like most corporations, in order to ensure that money is not diverted into the hands of the band council illegally.

    Because of this, natives are blocking train lines – illegally – and the chief of a remote northern reserve is on a ‘hunger strike’ – a hunger strike that includes eating fish broth.

    The ‘movement’ is entirely illogical, and illegal actions are not going to win over the support of the Canadian public.

    The accountability act must stay; its long overdue. Too many reserves, including the ones I am intimately familiar with – have the band council is beautful homes and brand new cars while the rest of the band goes without.

    Time to end the corruption.

    Edit: The ironic thing is I am a NDP supporter. This issue cuts across traditional lay lines for voting because many Canadians can see this for what it is : a temper tantrum stirred up by chiefs who are afraid of opening their books, and the reaction from band members who have been kept in the dark.

    • good points

    • umm no, way to get it so very wrong!

    • Sure these things have happened but that is not what Idle No More is about. Also, there have been very few train and highway blockades compared to what there could be. Most of us are not looking to piss off the general public, we want to share a message about the environmental issues that Bill C-45 raises and to fight for our rights signed for in treaties all across the country (except for most of BC).

      I personally did not know about any accountability act and I doubt that was the concern of the women who started Idle No More. For them, and most protesters, this is about rights and the environment. John Public, your post seems to be meant to stir up anger from people who are unsure about FN people, and it is badly misleading. You’ve brought up things that have nothing to do with Idle No More. Mission accomplished on your part I guess. People will use your post to spread even more hate against the cause we are fighting for.

    • sure we have some bad eggs in our government don t you? another thing think of this i also pay taxes so i get a say .you get so much a year to live on and pay for your bill the government takes its cut and your suppose to survive on whats left on the reserves get so much a year just like your city’s towns ect but before we get the money

      so much is taken out to pay for whom ever is in charge then its passed on to next group they take there cut and this happen a few more times then the bands get whats left over and they say here live on this.

      another thing under the contract with canada yes its a contract all your ancestors asked for was 18 inches of land the depth of a plow well i think your people broke that part of the contract but that’s no what idle no more is about its about the governments saying we are gonna come in and take your land pollute your drinking water and your lands and there’s nothing you can do because we passed a bunch of laws so if a oil company ect wants to do this they can and if something bad happens to you yours or your land they are not responsible to fix it as long as they keep giving us the money we agreed upon and the votes to keep us in power this is the way its gonna be.. guess what when they are done with raping our land guess what your next

      and if you say the government would never do that ask a native how well they keep there word we will tell you

  24. Nice to read a educated response for a change, great article, thank you!

  25. All for the absolute stupidity of MR.HARPER.
    What kind of a PM would do this. Proof he is not fit for the Job at hand. Not fit to be involved in Canadian politics.
    I would ask for his immediate resignation

  26. Thank-you Brigette.

  27. what a bunch of crap.

    the biggest drain on canada is all the money wasted on supporting your idle butts while the rest of us work and pay taxes.

  28. Thank you, Brigette. I agree with you. We need to take control before Harper does more harm.

    But please try to have someone edit your stuff before it’s published. A sentence like “In the face of climate change that threatens the survival of humanity, coming to the public consciousness in the 1960s with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and then by the UN Commission in the 1970s, we’ve been searching for a solution to a path towards a clean future.” makes me shudder. It’s run on, has too much content, has a nonparallel series, shifts tense, and is overloaded with prepositional phrases. It’s difficult to figure out what the subject or predicate is. It could probably be turned into a cogent paragraph.

    You have important things to say. It would be nice if someone at Macleans would see fit to help you say them. My wife is a retired English teacher. She’d be happy to help.

    • “We need to take control before Harper does more harm.” and that’s the crux of this so-called “movement”. Forget democracy, Professional Protesters know what’s right and proper for us, and they’ll force it on us if they have to.

  29. I am so sorry so many of my fellow non Aboriginal Canadians feel its ok to be so grossly rude to a young person and to dismiss the gutting of Canada by its current leader. If we don’t stand together over protecting the land then don’t be suprised when we all fall apart…Stephen Harper has made it clear he intends to step over the battered body of our nation and scrape off anyting that that touches him.

    • How exactly is Canada being “gutted”? Is it all that horrible development and economic growth that’s “gutting” the country? Quit with the histrionics already.

  30. The Idle No More initiative is really the first sign that Canadians are waking up to the environmental and cultural armageddon that Harper is planning for Canada. Maybe the Occupy movement was the wake up call. I have every support and hope for the First Nations who recognize what is happening to the Land and who love the Land. Harper has no real right to be the leader of this land. He cares not for democracy, ecology, First Nations, Global warming, Canada’s scientists, etc. Note that he has ATTACKED them all with crafty and below the radar legislation. He deserves to be gone; he has sat long enough!!!!! Power to the First Nations. We are with you

    • Maybe you are. I and several others are not.

    • He has attacked ALL Canadians with crafty and below the radar legislation. Bill C-45, while detrimental to First Nations, is also detrimental to the environment we all have to live in for the rest of our lives. The legacy he is leaving for us is a wasteland.

  31. Urgent: Dear friends: I could not sit by any longer while Chief Spencer continues her hunger strike and the PM does not meet with her. I have started a petition to add our collective voices to that of Chief Teresa Spencer, to call on Prime Minister Harper to meet with her. This is day 14 (Tuesday) of the Fast, if you support her could you add your name to the petition and email it to all that you can so that we can get PM Harper to meet with her as quickly as possible. Were you able to get on the site and sign? Please contact me if you were not able to. Rob McQueen. pushinback@yahoo.ca

    The link to the petition is: http://www.activism.com/en_CA/petition/adding-our-voices-to-meet-with-chief-teresa-spencer/41484

    • Ms Spence has just blown her credibility by meeting with Justin Trudeau. She turns down Senator Brazeau and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs but chooses to speak to a jumped up candidate for a third tier party. I am not concerned with Ms. Spence’s health. She looked perfectly normal in her interview with JT.

    • Rob, perhaps you might improve the credibility of your petition if you could show more than a passing familiarity with the story. You know, like getting right the name of the chief in whose name you’re trying to sign people up.

  32. Bunch of Indian crap. No indian speaks for me, I actually work for a living.

    • and I thank you for the fries and the racism.

    • I am aboriginal and I would like you to know that I make 98,000 a year so I probably pay more in taxes in a yr then you do in a life time. I have never gotten anything for free and have worked for everything I have. That said, I can name about 1000 aboriginals that have done the same! Now I have wasted a minute of my life that I will not get back on the likes of you!

    • This is totally unjustified racism. The article is weak, but you seem unable to reply to it without making smearing generalizations about native fellow-Canadians.

    • People don’t read The Tyee because it has zero credibility as a far-left rag.

      • Have you even looked at the Bill? Frankly, the part where he breaks up First Nations is not even the most worrisome. Read it, I keep telling people to read it, but no Harper supporter ever seems to. Claim it as a far left rag, but it’s still fact. Find me one part of that bill that shouldn’t scare you. Enough with the racist comments about Indians getting off their asses and give me some FACTS. I realize Harperites don’t like the facts spewed in their face. I’m not for any political party, but I’m starting to realize how ostrich-like Conservatives are.

        • Yes, I have read it. And no, it doesn’t scare me. Because I don’t pee pants my pants just because some left-wing hacks decide to publish a bunch of fearmongering histrionics with the aim of increasing internet clicks.

          “Enough with the racist comments about Indians getting off their asses and give me some FACTS” Where did I say any such thing? Oh, I didn’t. YOU did! So, who’s the racist now?

          But, here’s some facts for you: The bill doesn’t break up any First Nations. Our rivers will not run black with oil. Wind turbines will continue to kill hundreds of times as many birds as the oil sands do in a year (and provide a fraction of the energy), and Canada’s Professional Protesters will continue to find unimportant things to scream to high-heaven about in a futile attempt to make themselves feel important.

          • Not the article, the actual bill. The racist comment wasn’t an attack on you, but things are getting out of hand in these comments. The Windsor bridge is exempt from all environmental laws? That doesn’t faze you in the slightest? There has to be a balance between fiscal and environmental responsibility. Wind turbines are the balance. I’ve only gotten to page 200 of the bill, but what I’ve read DOES scare me. I grew up in the far north, I know what poverty is. I’ve seen the chiefs houses, and trust me, they aren’t palatial. I now live in an environmentalists nightmare (Sarnia, ON) and I’ve seen the effects of a poisoned river that is just now getting clean. Like I said, the First Nations part of it is only a part and the sad thing is that people are focussing on that part, and with the racist views people have of Natives, it’s blurring the issues.

          • “The Windsor bridge is exempt from all environmental laws?”

            Nope. You should have read further, to find, for example, ‘… Species at Risk Act would have been required but for section 3… must file with the Minister a plan that includes all measures to be taken to mitigate the impact of the activity on the species, its critical habitat or the residences of its individuals.’

          • I read the entire thing, multiple times. No matter how strong a Harperite you are, can you seriously not be worried about this? I just don’t even know what to say about that. I have some super valuable swampland for you. It also goes on to say that the minister can give it back to them for “revisions” and my favorite– (1) A corporation that is incorporated for any purpose relating to the construction or operation of
            an international bridge or tunnel in respect of which its letters
            patent are issued has, for that purpose and for the purposes of this
            Act, the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person. Meaning when he sells it to China, they will be considered a Canadian Corporation. It’s a shady thing all around, and they bury it in something that is supposed to be a budget bill, and coat it in legal jargon, because they KNOW people won’t read it. IF it was something Harper was proud of, he would introduce it as a separate bill. That’s really the end of the story. IF it was something he was proud of, he would talk about it in public. If it was something that we were all just misunderstanding, he would explain it. But he doesn’t, why do you suppose that it?

  33. Hey, Liberal dreamers ,just wait until you vote in our first immigrant prime minister. I’m sure the money will flow then.

    • Like John Turner?

      • Refresh my memory,where was Turner from?

        • There have been four Canadian Prime Ministers who were born outside of Canada. They are none other than Sir John A. MacDonald – Scottish and Canadian, Alexander Mackenzie, also Scottish and Canadian, Sir Mackenzie Bowell, Scottish and Canadian, and the most recent, John Turner, English and Canadian. Turner was born in Richmond, Surrey, England to Leonard Turner and Phyllis Gregory, in 1929 and who served as the 17th Prime Minister of Canada from June 30 to September 17, 1984. (Wikipedia).

  34. Idle No More…. a bunch of people sitting around being idle, asking the government to do things for them, so they can remain idle.

    It’s the same old Professional Protesters we see involved in everyone of these so-called “movements”. The prorogation “protests”, the Occupy “protests”, the robocall “protests”, and now the IdleNoMore “protests”. It’s always the same people, demanding more from others so they can do less for themselves. And as soon as Christmas holidays are over, the “movement” will evaporate overnight, and the media will wait with baited breath for the next “spectacle” to come around, which will most likely correspond with a time when students would be expected to get jobs – and some will “protest” instead.

  35. “Strong, Stable, Conservative Majority Government™” is what the Prime Minister Harper asked voters to give him, and after the election he had one. Now, any questions about the legitimacy of the electoral process, dirty tricks, or contempt of Parliament or for democracy itself cannot be asked, because it would not reflect the ‘will of the people’ as expressed by those who had an opportunity for their votes to be cast and counted in the election. After all 39% of 60% is a majority of all Canadians who voted isn’t it? And a ‘majority is a majority is a majority’ and a mandate to do whatever you want without opposition for your term in office, isn’t it? Democracy, Eh? (sounds like a bad book:)

    In answer to the point that we should not question things now because we did things this way in the past, when former PC PM Brian Mulroney was asked in June of 1993 about his experiences with the media during his term in office and he replied, “The only two headlines he really liked? …the first one said, ‘Mulroney wins big majority’ and the second one that said, ‘Mulroney re-elected with big majority’ because you know what? All the other stuff doesn’t really matter”.

    Leaders of parties in Parliament or the provincial legislatures from all three of the old line parties have all promised at various times to reform our democracy, make elected representatives more accountable and government more transparent, and some in a position of having the power to do it, have taken limited steps such as making campaign finance and election advertising rules fairer, like changes made by former Liberal PM Jean Chretien, or in Ontario, where former P.C. Premier Mike Harris made income tax credits for political contributions refundable (which benefited the poor, women and minorities that were not generally his constituency), although he did not use either of his huge majority governments to pass his campaign promise for a ‘Citizen initiative law’ to ensure politicians keep their promises. Only in BC are there any laws that can be considered to be forms of “Direct Democracy” where the people have any meaningful tools they can use in between elections.

    The referendas for Proportional Representation were manipulated by the government because they had real potential to pass. In BC over 58% voted in favour, and later in Ontario, when the terms for ratification were changed after the citizens’ assembly almost unanimously chose the Mixed Member form PR, only 40% voted in favour. Most governments that promise reforms and then do not make them, or attempt referendas to introduce them at the end of a term during re-election campaigns, are soundly defeated, but usually the measures pass with huge public support.

    Over the last year, Samara has undertaken research into the state of our political process, and published a series of reports, including one released in December 2012, “Who’s
    the Boss?: Canadians’ Views on Their Democracy”, which showed that Canadians’ satisfaction with their democracy has dropped 20 points in eight years and looked at one source of that dissatisfaction, MPs’ priorities. It is clear that our democracy has evolved in the last thirty years in ways that concentrate power in the hands of the political parties and
    leaders, and the ability of elected Members to represent the interests of constituents is basically non-existent, especially in majority governments, where absolute power rests with the leader, PM or Premier. Regardless of the partisan leanings of a minority of Canadians
    or the majority of those who do not have any at all, there is a universal distrust of politicians and our institutions that demands discussion and resolution, so that our democracy and nation can evolve and perhaps we can find ways to work together, instead of opposing each other in a single minded quest for power to govern absent of a real democratic mandate to lead.

  36. One day Rick omen will have his tail between his legs while saying” I should have supported the idle no more”! This I say to Rick, educate yourself before taking a stance on something you clearly know nothing about. Your nothing but harper’s little puppet and until you open your eyes you will remain delusional. By the way, chief Spencer’s is doing something most people would not do and that is to stand up to the injustices that is being done to all Canadians so instead of putting her down why don’t you try thanking her?

  37. This article reads like it was written by a teenage girl, no offense. The melodrama is way too thick and it sounds like you’re trying way too hard to come across as intelligent and eloquent but succeed only in the trying aspect of this.

    • I hope Macleans didn’t pay for this pap.

  38. Wow! Very nice.

  39. Wow! Very nice.

  40. I will wear cowboy boots and a hat for Harper’s next speech from the throne (yes, there will be more) and hold a sign “Welcome to Harperland” maybe that way macleans will invite me to write as a guest ; )

    • I’ll be watching for you!

    • Just cowboy boots and a hat you say? If y so you can come over to my place and watch the throne speech anytime.

      • Ha, I should be more explicit, fully clothed PLUS cowboy boots and a hat : )

  41. So I’ve finished reading this bill. It only took me 3 days. Seems to me if Harper was proud of it, he would have separated it into parts, but that would take the fun out of being sneaky. I have to admit, not being Native, I don’t understand what the issues are from the First Nations point of view. The way I read it, it just means that they have to show up and vote. But maybe someone will enlighten me on that. What every Canadian should read, is crap like this that is buried in there. http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=5765988&Language=E&Mode=1&File=140#18

    • Three days??? You must be a slow reader.

      But even I did not find anything abusive to either indian or ‘first nation’ rights, so it’s not surprising that you did not either.

  42. So a childish stunt by a fat crook is a Christmas gift

  43. what is a “youth leader and activist”. Did any “youth” appoint her to lead them? I doubt it.

    • More like a “useful idiot”.

  44. She has lasted 14 days without food? That in itself is a miracle or proves that she is not actually on a hunger strike. Her Reservation the past five years has received 90
    Million dollars from the Government. Where has this money gone? It takes the gullible Lefties to care about one foolish and greedy Chief over the millions of dollars of taxpayers money wasted away for nothing.

  45. By naming their movement “Idle No More” can we assume they are tired of idling all of their lives and living free off of the rest of us -while making no contribution at all. Until now they’ve believed we must take care of them from cradle to grave for all perpetuity. Can we assume that idle no more means they’ll earn their own keep – feed, clothe and house their own children. Pay taxes to build their own hospitals and schools?
    The author Brigette Depape writes as someone ot of touch with reality. She seems to have really liked cozying up to the sacred fire. She should have come here to Caledonia a few years ago and cozied up to the sacred fire the natives built with 500 old car tires. The tires burnt for days and the toxins and poisons that spewed into the air was testament to how they take care of Mother Earth. I’m sick and tired of these idle mooches who take hundreds of millions of dollars from us each year and spit in our faces as a thank you.

  46. Very nice article, I hope a lot of people read it because there are a lot of people out there that think the natives are only after money and all we want is what we have been taught, to take care of the place we were allowed to live or the short time we are here.

  47. A hunger strike. Pathetic. Its just proof that she will do anything to draw attention away from the gross misappropriation of funds on her reserve. Millions unaccounted for.

    • You don’t know what you are talking about. You read the CON talking points and assume they must be true. Try educating yourself. Who’s really a sheeple?

  48. Harper is evil because he pushes a conservative agenda. Everyone knows that anyone who is economically or socially conservative is evil. Good people can only be center-left. The reason being that only progressives, socialists, greens, and communists care for people(minus the 100+ million killed by Communist regimes or the socialist policies that have put many european nations on life support and killed economic opportunities for the young). Also, Conservatives don’t win elections. Harper must have cheated in 2006, 2008, and 2011. We all know that Canadian elections are only fair if the victor is a Liberal or NDPer. So, Harper cheated, Mulroney cheated twice(1984 and 1988). However, all Trudeau and Chretrien’s victories were “fairly won” with no biased media helping them. Yeah, right! The CBC, Macleans, and most papers are in the tank for the left.
    The sad truth is that the left really hates Harper because he is effective. The left feels that only their opinions should be voiced in the public square. Your hatred for the man borders on the crazed. If Harper had a stroke and died, I have no doubt that much of our “friends” on the left would be cheering. Your problem is that he effectively pushes an agenda that you oppose. If Harper was a NDPer, you same guys would excuse his behavior. If this hunger striker was protesting Jean Chretrien’s policies, you people would be far less sympathetic. As for the cult of Harper, what a load of garbage. You want to see deluded Jim Jones like worship look at many of the supporters of Obama, the Kennedys or Pierre Trudeau. My God! These people act like every word of theirs is gold. They act like these guys are so brillant that when they break wind it smells like strawberries.

  49. Harper has already affected this country. Canada used to be the most left-wing of the six english speaking first world countries(Britain, Australia, U.S., New Zealand, Ireland and us). Now, we have moved to the right of Britain. His Conservative Party is to the right of Britain’s Conservatives. The party is similiar to the UKIP(the right-wing splinter party of disgruntled ex-Conservatives). Under Harper, the government’s share of the economy is significantly lower than theirs as are our tax rates. Also, Harper has championed gun owners and strengthened self defense laws. This is something that Cameron’s Conservatives have not even attempted to tackle. Also, he has moved economically to the right of both the U.S. and Ireland. Our government’s share of GDP is lower than both countries. In addition, our corporate taxes are lower than the U.S. . In Ireland, their personal income taxes are higher. If you read Harper’s writings. it is obvious that he views himself as Canada’s Margaret Thatcher. He will push for lower taxes, less government involvement in the economy, weaker unions, and at some point(like Thatcher) the death penalty. He will shy away from socially conservative issues like abortion. Instead, he will emphasize a mix of smaller government, more gun rights(probably open to some form of the Castle Doctrine-self defense with no duty to retreat or allowing concealed carry), and a law and order agenda(with possible binding referendum on the death penalty). Australia and New Zealand will still probably remain generally more conservative than us. Also, the U.S. will still remain more socially conservative. However, Harper will probably have moved Canada into the middle of that pack before leaving.

  50. For years, the Liberals were elected to Majority governments without winning a majority of votes, but for some reason young Liberals such as the writer seem to think that is fair and just. Yet, when the Conservatives win a majority, the NDP and Liberals start making all sorts of noise about how unfair the system is.

    And let’s be honest about the abominable way that the Canadian government has treated First Nations people. It did not start with this government. None of the political parties have anything to be proud of in their treatment of indigenous people. Stephen Harper has not done enough to undo the effects of years of mistreatment, but, if the writer (and some of the readers who added comments below) were honest, they would have to admit that no Canadian government has lived up to its responsibilities in this area.

    • But . . . but . . . Conservatives are bad and Liberals, New Democrats and Greens are good. Didn’t you read the article? We need an Arab Spring here to free ourselves from the totalitarian dystopia that is Canada under Harper. Harper’s secret police goons are siezing my computer and hauling me off to one of their secret prisons as I type this.
      I’m not making this up.

  51. DePape has more moose balls than all moose in NewFoundland. You gotta love her veracious appetite to clip Harper’s heels.

  52. 39 percent is a lot more people than elected chretien after his first term, or trudeau after his first. Only when a conservative gets elected is it udemocratic! Screw u

  53. A corrupt and incompetent Chief and a brain washed socialist named De Pape are activists in Idle No More. Paul Martin was inspired by Spence.

    Oh dear.

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