By Julianne Jennings
Spearheading this revolution is the Idle No More French Chapter, initiated by twenty-four year old, Anthony Shwartzmann, living in Dijon (France) with Mohawk grandparents from Louise Ville Canada (Quebec). Anthony has been given the green light and support from the Canadian Chapter. The movement right now has been joined by many French associations, including the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Atlantic Ocean, and French Guyana in South America, supporting Native American issues and also providing help with school supplies and clothing to Indian reservations in the U.S. and Canada. Shwartzmann says, “I am happy that Europeans are beginning to take an interest in our culture, and the recent movement led by Chief Theresa Spence.” You can keep up with Shwartzmann on his Facebook page.
David Constintin, creator of Regagner Les Plaines (Regain the Plains), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rights and culture of Native Americans in Europe, was called in by Shwartzmann to help organize peaceful protests throughout Paris. Their most recent Idle No More campaign was held at the Eiffel Tower in February.
For Jean Michel Wizenne, a French musician says, “It’s personal. I use my music to testify about what I see on the reservation and while visiting my Native friends; and a relative being held in South Dakota prison.” He continues, “I am just a man who sings about other men (American Indians) who seem to have been born guilty.” Most of Wizenne lyrics focus on the role of the Judicial System and its assimilation of American Indians. Wizenne claims, he is doing a lot of concerts, conferences and radio on the subject and has made friends on the other side of Atlantic. Wizenne and Medicine Grove’s electronic press kit can be viewed at: http://www.medicinegroovetrio.new.fr