Idle No More
Colonization, the Indian Act, Enfranchisement, and Residential Schools, are all examples of the oppressions Aboriginal individuals have and continue to face. As a result of these injustices, moreover the introduction of Bill C-45, Aboriginal individuals began an attempt to educate their people on the impeding changes. Essentially, these revisions sought to once again violate Aboriginal Treaty rights, in addition, threatened the safety and conservancy of their Creation – Mother Earth. One might wonder how much more abuse and exploitation Aboriginals could possibly endure. It could be argued that the introduction of Bill C-45 was the final indignity. It seemed apparent that in order to make a difference, what was required was a solid plan, in which Aboriginals could once again have a voice, more importantly, have their voices heard (Caven, 2013). With this in mind, on November 10th, 2012, four ingenious women began a movement that, once ignited, began to spread like wildfire. Appropriately, they dubbed this movement Idle no More. As such, this writer intends to explore the potential impacts of Bill C-45, the basis of the Idle No More movement and the outcome.
Impacts of Bill C-45.
It is apparent that over several centuries, Aboriginals have developed a close spiritual connection with the land. Unfortunately, Bill C-45 “…attacks the land base reserved for Indigenous people, removes protection for hundreds of waterways and weaken[s] Canada’s environmental laws” (Caven, 2014). In essence, this legislation sees the vulnerable waterways that Aboriginal individuals rely on furthermore, feel united with, and are left exposed to potential contamination. As such, they have become deeply in tune with the environment, thus truly understand what is necessary to ensure it remains natural and healthy. (Belanger, 2014, p. 10) It is important to note that many Aboriginal individuals rely on fishing to supplement their incomes, and actively utilize the land as a source of food (Belanger, 2014, p. 44). Thus, as a result of Bill C-45, not only are Aboriginal food supplies threatened, so too is their primary source of income. In addition, it is this writer’s perception that this change to legislation affects all individuals, when one considers that clean water is required for drinking, growing vegetables and ensuring a healthy fish supply.
When considering the Navigation Protection Act, it seems that the aim was, in essence, to protect navigable waterways through issuing guidelines that require “…major industrial projects… …to prove that their construction and operation will not damage navigable waterways” ("In brief," n.d., p. 3). It is unfortunate that through Bill C-45, this protection has essentially been deleted from practice, in addition, no opportunity was provided to the Aboriginal people to voice concern ("In brief," n.d., p. 3). It could be argued that due to the close relationship Aboriginals have with the Earth moreover, their...