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Aboriginal Students: Idle No More

Bill C-45

According to the Parliament of Canada website, Bill C-45 can be referred to as either the Income Tax Act or the Jobs and Growth Act.

Bill C-45 was passed in December of 2012.  The Idle No More Movement has placed significant attention on the passage of this bill because of the considerable changes they believe it has created to the Indian Act.  To see the Indian Act in its entirety, please go to the Justice Laws Website.

Within Bill C-45, INM is specifically concerned with its potentially detrimental amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

Bill C-27

According to the Parliament of Canada website, Bill C-27 is "an act to enhance the financial accountability and transparency of First Nations". 

The INM Movement takes issue with this bill, believing that it imposes unfair standards on First Nations governments, including requiring them to publicly report their income and expenses.  For more detail on INM's views on this bill, see this article on their official website.

Brief Introduction to the Movement

The Idle No More Movement began in November of 2012.  This grassroots movement was started by four women from Saskatchewan who felt that they could no longer remain silent concerning legislation that they believe will be detrimental to both Canada's citizens and its natural resources.  These women are: Jessica Gordon, Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, and Sheelah McLean. 

The Movement began in October of 2012 in response to current and future legislation changes that they believe would negatively affect not only First Nations peoples in Canada, but the entire country's population and natural resources as well. 

INM quickly gained speed throughout the country with protests occurring in a number of provinces (as well as in areas outside of Canada).

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence

Chief Theresa Spence is the current Chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation, which is located in the James Bay Region of Northern Ontario, having assumed office on the 27th of August, 2010. 

Chief Spence has garnered much media attention for the Idle No More Movement as a result of her fast in support of the Movement.  Chief Spence began her fast on December 11th, 2012. 

It is important to note that, although Chief Spence and her fast have become almost synonmyous with INM because of the media attention she has attracted, she is not one of the founding members of the Movement.  INM was inspired, in part, by Chief Spence, but it is a separate movement.

Chief Spence ended her 44 day fast on January 24th, 2013 as a result of the signing of the 13-point declaration dedicated to the pursuit of First Nations issues.  The declaration was signed by representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, the New Democrat caucus, and the Liberal caucus. 

Idle No More - Newfoundland

The Idle No More Movement has gained traction in Newfoundland as well. With a Facebook page for the St. John's group; an article in The Muse; demonstrations across the province; and notable news coverage, it is clear that Newfoundlanders are showing their support.

There have been protests not only in St. John's, but in other parts of the province as well, including a demonstration in Stephenville by the Stephenville Idle No More group, and a protest in Corner Brook, both specifically focused on Bill C-45.

Official Website

For more information about the Idle No More Grassroots Movement, please go to the Movement's official website:

Here, you will find out more about its founding members; the vision, mission, and history of the organization; events relating to the movement; pictures and videos; as well as a forum for discussion.

Notable News

This is a great place to start if you are new to the Idle No More Movement or if you are interested in finding out more about the ins and outs of the Movement's history in the news.  Both The Huffington Post and The National Post have created collections of pictures, videos, and news relating to the Idle No More Movement.

The Huffington Post has created two additional collections of news, one relating specifically to Chief Theresa Spence and one focused on Bill C-45.