Idle No More organizer Joyce Hunter says a planned march to city hall on Monday should start about 4:15 p.m. at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School.
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Idle No More is once again hitting the streets of Thunder Bay.
Organizer Joyce Hunter on Friday said they expect about 200 people to take part in the group’s activities, which will begin Monday afternoon with a teach-in at Dennis Franklin Cromarty School and wind up with a march on city hall.
“The second part of what we’re doing is going to be a demonstration. And we’re doing that in solidarity with the national movement of Idle No More because there has been national call across the country for local chapters of Idle No More to come out in force to send a message to this government that’s sitting that we’re still here, our issues remain unresolved and we are still coming out to show that we still want to have that discussion,” said Hunter, a mother of two young boys.
The plan isn’t to disrupt traffic, though she said marchers will be using main arterials to get to city hall, starting on Edward Street.
The issues are still the same, Hunter said.
Nationally the biggest one is still treaty implementation and the concern the country is signing away its resources to foreign interests.
“It’s not something that sits well with us and we’re very concerned about the potential impacts to our environment for all Canadians, not just ourselves,” Hunter said.
“Locally what we’ve found is there has been a misunderstanding in the mainstream about what we’re saying at Idle No More. One of the biggest things we’re hearing is, ‘Oh, it’s about money. You want more money.’
That’s not the case at all, said Hunter.
What First Nations want is access to many of the services most Canadians take for granted. In 2013 Aboriginals shouldn’t have to live under boil-water advisories, without running water and limited access to many programs.
“The end result is the average lifespan of a First Nations person is 20 years shorter than that of the average Canadian. And that is a direct consequence of the abusive relationship that Canada’s First People experience at the hands of their government,” Hunter said.
While Idle No More has faced backlash across the country, Hunter believes the support is starting to grow, as people start to realize just what its organizers are fighting for.
It sparks a light, which leads to questions, she said.
“It’s different from being dismissed for singing the quote-unquote same old song … When people realize that it’s going to affect them too, that’s when the questions really start to happen,” Hunter said. “What we’re finding is people really want to be involved to turn that tide, to be involved in sending that message is this is something that affects us all and this is something we’re all concerned about.”
To get involved on Monday, Hunter said show up at Dennis Franklin Cromarty by 4:15 p.m.
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