Idle No More Texbook

Photo from APTN

Here are a couple of assignments I have given my Grade 9 Social Studies class and my Grade 11/12 Law class. I would love for your students to take part!

Canada in the Contemporary World Assignment

Law Assignment

Here is my attempt at creating an interactive and evolving Idle No More textbook for educators and students across the country. A major goal is to engage all in higher-order thinking and writing about this historic movement. As per my previous post, I find this a critical time to examine our collective history and see what we need to do to move on. With any issue, there are many perspectives and many which are ill informed. In order to think critically about any issue and to seek out what is significant, we need to have a basic understanding of the forces at work. Over the last few days, I have put together a few resources to help us understand, at a basic level, what Idle No More is, what Bill C-45 is, what Canadians are saying, and what First Nations leaders are saying.

I hope that we can build this resource over the next few weeks. Please feel free to comment below and suggest links that would be useful. I also welcome the thoughts on Idle No More from students and teachers around that world that are constructive and are meant to construct knowledge.

What is Idle No More?
9 Questions about Idle No More
A People’s Movement
What is Idle No More?

Personal Perspectives
I sent leaders and community observers within the Idle No More movement some questions to answer. More responses are on the way. I would like to thank the respondents for their time and candour.

Waub Rice from CBC Ottawa (Community Observer) Sheila North Wilson from Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (Leader) Niigaan Sinclair, Professor at the University of Manitoba on CBC Radio (Leader) (The whole interview can be found here: What are Canadians Saying?
Cross Country Checkup
MacLeans Magazine

Critics and Critiques of Idle No More
Christy Blatchford, National Post
Ezra Levant
Toronto Star on the Audit
Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail
Andrew Coyne (former SJR student) on Idle No More

Critics of Liberalism
Globe and Mail

International Media Coverage
Democracy Now
Al Jazeera
The Guardian
Similar events around the world

Legislation (National & International)
Indian Act
Canadian Human Rights Commission
United Nations
Bill C-45
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples

Pre Friday Meeting Resources
Meeting on the Verge of Collapse
Lack of Transparency Harming Chief’s Cause
Fickle Spence CBC on the Meeting – GREAT RESOURCE!! 
GG to meet with FN – Sort of
Harper and Chiefs to meet
5 Things to Know about Today’s Meeting

Post Meeting News
Chief Spence to Meet with GG
AFN 8 Points of Consenus
Harper and Atleo Agree
Jonathan Kay Comment

Editorials on the Saturday Following PM Meeting
Evan Solomon’s Essay
Globe and Mail Editorial
Andrew Coyne
Winnipeg Sun

68 thoughts on “Idle No More Texbook

  1. My party that is was assigned in class is the Conservative Party. Just like the other members of my party have stated the Idle No More protesters are protesting against Bill C 45. The Conservatives have held meeting with some the chiefs of the reserves that this bill has effected. They are just doing this to please the people as the are anti-environmental. To wrap up the Conservatives passed Bill C 45 to use and consume land and water without the First Nations consent though they are trying to solve this with the First Nation chiefs to please the people and not because they care about the environment.

  2. The Idle No More movement, is a very controversial movement, within the Aboriginal Community. A lot of people do not understand the meaning of the movement, and what it is all about. This movement is started by the Aboriginal people of Canada, in response to a bill made by the Canadian Government. The bill (C-45) changes laws that were set in place in Canada, and the reason that some people took such offense to it, was because this bill affected the Indian Act. There were parts of this bill that made Aboriginal people question if their rights were being violated. This movement is called Idle No More, because the First Nations People of Canada will not be silent about their treatment. The protests that were going on have made Canadians start to realize the unfair treatment that Aboriginal People are receiving. I believe that as a country, we need to start paying attention to the treatment of the First Nations People, and the Government needs to act on it.

  3. Resending this because I'm not sure I did it properly. I am bad at technology.Idle no more is a recent protest led by the Aboriginal People of Canada. The purpose of the popular movement is to raise awareness of how First Nations people in our country are still not being treated justly after all this time, and all these treaties. However, it begins to seem unclear what the set purpose of the movement is, as individuals participating seem to be vouching for different causes. This is problematic. Not only is it problematic because it doesn't make sense that everyone together in a protest are fighting different things, it's problematic because it becomes hard for political figures, as well as the rest of Canada, to listen and understand what is being fought for. Although I find this problematic, I am in favour of the movement because it is forcing Canadians to pay better attention to those who were here before us, instead of pushing them aside and exuding our ignorance towards them. They are Canadians and they should be listened to and treated fairly, just as everyone else.

  4. In Mr. Kope’s class we discussed how a woman (Ms. Spencer) went on a six week hunger strike. She was sent to a hospital, ending her hunger strike, and under medical supervision for a day and a half. Although she is still considered a hero by many, she never got the meeting with Mr. Harper that she originally requested, the motivation behind her hunger strike. Although she did get the attention of the government, I think Mr. Harper went about everything the wrong way. It was wrong of him to let the girl continue this hunger strike on the front steps of parliament where she was getting lots of media attention and he surely must have heard of her. The fact that it got to the point where she was rushed to the hospital and he still refuses to have a meeting with her really shows how little he cares about this issue. The government says that they are discussing things now, but it doesn’t mean they are trying to make things right; they could just be trying to find a way around the whole issue. I think the least Mr. Harper could do at this point is apologize to Ms. Spencer, and provided her with the requested meeting.

  5. I think that the Idle No More movement is a great way for the Aboriginal peoples of Canada to get the people of Canada’s attention and more importantly the Harper Governments attention. The Aboriginal peoples are spreading their concerns about the Government in a very effective way. They have used many methods including: twitter, Facebook, protests, and marches. The Aboriginal people have effectively notified all the Canadian people their concerns. The point of the Idle No More movement was to bring more attention to bill C-45. The protestors think that bill C-45 has not been passed in the proper way and the content of the bill will affect the Aboriginal peoples. Many of the attempts to gain the attention of Steven Harper have not been successful. For example, Theresa Spence went on a complete Hunger strike and didn’t eat any solid food for over 26 days, only feeding herself liquids. She never ended up having a formal meeting with Steven Harper like she had hoped to have. I think that the Harper Government should meet with the four Saskatchewan women who started the Idle No More movement to discuss their concerns about bill C-45. AB

  6. Thoughts on Idle No More movement: When I first heard about the Idle No More movement it wasn’t really clear to me what the movement was about. After doing some research and reading a few articles about the movement it became a little clearer to me, but not much. This confusion, and the reason why many others are confused, is because the movement is all over the map. What started from a few people getting angry over one bill the government was going to pass, grew into a full campaign against the Harper government, and rights for the aboriginal people. This campaign is fairly important, for several reasons. Firstly, the movement is focused on what the Harper government had done as of late, that negatively affects Canadians. The aboriginal peoples have a right to be concerned about the future of the environment because the Harper government is unintentionally destroying it. If the government were to pass this bill that says businesses don’t have to confirm that they are environmentally safe before building on reserves, the effects would be detrimental. For example, if oil is found on a reserve and the community choses to exploit it, there are now no environmental safe guards in place that could stop this project from happening. Rivers, lakes could be horribly polluted by a potential spill, and completely ruin the ecosystem. The Idle No More movement is clearly important as it has brought up this very pressing issue. Even though the Idle No More movement has brought up this one very important issue, I still find many problems with the movement itself. I have two main critics of the movement to share with you today. My first critic being the hunger strikes involved with this movement. I believe that these strikes are very cowardly as they deter the public from the movement itself. These chiefs are really just doing these strikes for attention, not because they want to draw attention to the movement. My second critic of the movement is the fact that the protesters are protesting everything that the Harper government has done without their permission, even the things benefiting the aboriginal peoples. The government has done some bad things, but they have also done some great things, and I believe that it is not really fair that the movement is criticizing them for these good things.

  7. The Idle No More movement was a protest started by women on Aboriginal people's rights. The idea behind this movement was for these women to be heard and notify others about Bill C-45. Theses people think they deserve better and aren't being treated as they should be. Which is why they protested against this. So they wanted to get Steven Harper's attention so they can discuss this issue with him. One of the women taking part in the movement decided to go on a hunger strike which got many peoples attention and raised the movement's awareness. Although this got lots of attention Harper did not meet with her. I think that Harper should have met with her and discussed the issue because this is a problem.

  8. I think that the Idle No More movement is good because Aboriginals and First Nations are finally standing up for what they beleive in and fighting against the government. I think that Theresa Spence want a little too far when she went on her hunger strike; she could have maybe sent a letter raised awareness by arranging something in her community to catch themedia's attention. Going on the hunger made a bad impression on the government and aslo people who wanted to support Idle No More. I think it is fair to say that our government is currently not doing as much as some people would like done about this issue.Harper and the Canadian Government could arrange a series of meetings with Aboriginal and First Nations leaders from across Canada so that they can try to work things out and come to an agreement.

  9. I think that the Idle no More movement is a fair movement because the government had made a treaty with the leaders of the First Nation groups, and the government should have kept their word and should have talked with the First Nation leaders before bill C-45 was passed. I think that it is fair that the First Nation people are protesting, and considering what the government has done to some of their communities in the past, the First Nation people have a right to be angry with the government. The movement is getting a lot of attention which is good because the government needs to treat the First Nation people fairly just how they treat the rest of us Canadians. I think that some of the First Nation group leaders are going to extreme measures to be heard by Stephen Harper, like Theresa Spence who went on a six-week hunger strike. I think Stephen Harper should schedule a meeting with Theresa so they can talk about what they can do to fix the problem so that we can continue to have peace in Canada.

  10. Idle no more is a movement really about indigenous rights, and revitalizing indigenous culture that was started by bill C-45 which would infringe on aboriginal rights such as, the Indian act. Though it was originally a direct protest against the bill it has turned into the aboriginal and indigenous communities voicing their problems with the Harper government and infringement on their rights and treaties. The movement is made up mostly of young frustrated youth who with social media have more access than past generations to voice their concerns, communicate, and inform the outside world of their struggles. These protests are unique because of the huge role that social media has played and because so many different people are getting so politically involved. A controversial figure in idle no more is Theresa Spence, chief of the attawapiskat. Personally I think that in the very beginning of this movement she was a figure that inspired a lot of people to rally and protest against a wrong the government made, referring to bill C-45, which initially was a good thing, but in later stages of this movement she has become sort of the face of idle no more and even I didn't off hand think about how she does not stand for all aboriginal peoples until it was pointed out to me. She seems to be taking a role of power and superiority that she really doesn't have. A hunger strike is an effective way both to draw attention to a problem but also to draw attention away from the real problem and make it all about media and having a good story to tell in a political situation. As a society we have become obsessed with drama and I think the hunger strike really lost the real point to the movement. The entire movement has become less and less about bill C-45 and more about stereotypes, past problems, an ugly history between aboriginals and the Canadian government. It is an extremely controversial topic that you can't possibly discuss every point of view in a hundred conversations or blog comments, but I feel one of the most horrifying things is that we subconsciously or consciously see it as US and THEM. We as a community and fellow Canadians have to realize that there are so many different cultures and that we will be on this same land forever and we might as well learn to get along and not necessarily try to please everyone but to live civilly and without unnecessary drama. One point that I felt was interesting was that we have so much drama because there is a lack of education and knowledge about aboriginal peoples, their traditions, and their lifestyle. I know that I could spend a lifetime learning their culture and never fully understand it but I think the point is just to understand it better. I think people should be more aware of the importance of old culture, language, traditions, and the meaning and sentimental values that these things hold for indigenous people. There has been a lack of respect and understanding in the past and present and I feel it is definitely fair of them to ask that we try to educate our selves on their ways of life more than we are doing currently. The movement has taken a turn for the confusing with people's personal opinions and goals getting in the way and making it vague and shifty when it comes to their demands. At this point I don’t feel anyone really has a concrete sense of what it is exactly that the aboriginal communities would like to come of this movement, but as for what I think the Harper government should do is acknowledge and apologize for their actions against aboriginal rights in bill C-45 and from there I have no idea. There is always going to be problems between aboriginal people and the Canadian government if we continue to look at them both as completely separate groups and continue to not work together appropriately on issues.

  11. I think idle no more has helped me see politics in a very different way. The first thing I realized is the fact that aboriginals all over the country are working together to make a difference is great. This is one of the most successful ways of getting attention from the government. We all live in a democracy, so we should be able to fight for our rights and freedoms. The second thing that I realized is that the conservatives would actually do something somewhat cruel. They thought that they can just simply and secretly pass laws taking away some of the rights and freedoms of aboriginals. Before the idle no more movement, I didn’t really care about what the government was doing. As long as every thing stayed relatively the same, I was fine. The fact that the government was trying to pass a law taking away rights and freedoms from aboriginals made me realize that I should pay more attention to politics and whom I vote for when I grow up. This also makes me wonder, what else the government has done secretly or is planning to do secretly.

  12. Ah, Idle No More…. Still idle. I just don’t see the point in all of the commotion. I’ve read the articles but they all use the same information, chief on hunger strike and aboriginals aren’t happy with the government. I can see that the aboriginals are mad at the government for not honoring their agreement but if that’s the case then tell them that directly don’t just go after ONE bill. The Harper Gov. may re-negotiate the treaty if it is such a big problem. There has also been problems going on with SOME, not all but SOME chiefs are receiving big cash for their communities and it doesn’t end up being spent on the right things. It is also part of the governments fault for not having the brains to try to put a bill in place that allows them to monitor where the money is going, also creating more jobs. The thing about idle no more is that no matter where you go all the information differs, making it hard for people (and partly me) to find a solid reason why and what Idle No More is trying to do or stop from happening.Evan W.

  13. Idle no More AnalysisWhen the Idle No More movement started, the people involved at the beginning, the four aboriginal leaders of Saskatchewan, had a reasonable reason to act. The new bill, c-45, interfered with many past treaties with the government, for example, the Indian act, the Navigable Waters Protection act and the Environmental assessment act. This in the long run could create detrimental problems for future first nations if something was not done about it. However, with the combined effort of the indigenous people of Canada, the government is looking at its major mistake; passing bills without consent.Once reading multiple articles on the Idle no More movement, it has become clear to me why people were so outraged by this bill C-45. I must agree that fighting for rights is the right thing to do in this age of time, but when people protest to get a meeting and then don’t show up, that is an another issue. With the case of Theresa Spence, her efforts with her hunger strike were very effective (although not necessarily the healthiest thing to do), and got the media’s attention right away. However, through her hard work, the meeting that she requested with Prime Minister Stephen Harper was turned down by her own desire, mainly because the Governor General would not present at that time. As a result, I find this quite ridiculous for the fact that the problems with the bill C-45 could have been potentially fixed for all aboriginal people if not for the stubborn act by Theresa Spence, thus continuing the problems of the C-45 bill that aboriginals have or will have to face within the future. Essentially, Theresa Spence’s hunger strike severely derailed the entire problem of the Idle no More movement and continued to let these right infringements attack those who are not worthy of harm. What I think the Harper government should do is actually own up to their fraud that they have created and actually be open to having meetings with those who see fit to do so. This owning up business could fix the entire problem very quickly and prevent more riots and hunger strikes from happening, which derails the main vision of the problem in the first place. If initially the Harper government actually opened up and actually saw their problems, maybe this issue of Idle no More would have been fixed in the first place. As we all know, the government of Canada should be very democratic and on the party spectrum, the Conservatives are at the far right, meaning that they lenient on many issues and are suppose to be against abrupt change,(like suddenly passing bills without agreement with the Indigenous leaders of Canada), so really the question is, how conservative are the Conservatives?

  14. Idle No More started in November when four Saskatchewan women were frustrated with the Conservative Party’s latest budget bill, Bill C-45. It is a First Nations protest movement searching to obtain renewed government guarantees for treaty agreements and First Nation rights. Idle No More’s leader and spokeswoman is Theresa Spence, chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation. I am in complete agreement that the Idle No More movement should protest against Bill C-45 because it violates First Nations’ treaty rights as well as human rights. The importance is that these four women had the courage and determination to protest and stand up for their rights. In my opinion, I feel Stephen Harper and the Senate should take more time and put in more thought into the decision they are making, passing or declining the bill because this would make a huge impact on the lives of First Nations’ people.Kaeten

  15. I think idle no more has helped me see politics in a very different way. The first thing I realized is the fact that aboriginals all over the country are working together to make a difference is great. This is one of the most successful ways of getting attention from the government. We all live in a democracy, so we should be able to fight for our rights and freedoms. The second thing that I realized is that the conservatives would actually do something somewhat cruel. They thought that they can just simply and secretly pass laws taking away some of the rights and freedoms of aboriginals. Before the idle no more movement, I didn’t really care about what the government was doing. As long as every thing stayed relatively the same, I was fine. The fact that the government was trying to pass a law taking away rights and freedoms from aboriginals made me realize that I should pay more attention to politics and whom I vote for when I grow up. This also makes me wonder, what else the government has done secretly or is planning to do secretly.

  16. After reading the different links on this subject, I believe that Chief Spence could use her time more wisely in order to get resolutions to the problems. She wants the government to fund more money to alleviate the over-crowded dilapidated shacks or tents some of the community live. Why don't the citizens of the First Nation start taking ownership of there own houses and show some pride. I saw one picture in one of the links where there is trash outside the house. it seems to me that Chief Spence wants to complain and ask for the government to do all the work to make their lives better when the owners of the homes can start by cleaning up their garbage and maybe plant some grass to make their living conditions better. According to one article, the government has already allocated $90 million to raise the Aboriginal standard of living. I'm not sure the government needs to continue handing out more money to the community. The citizens need to stop complaining about what they don't have and start appreciating and taking care of what they already have.

  17. Pingback: SAGE 2013: Ecological Literacy & Idle No More | Henderson Hallway

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