By Jorge Barrera
The alliance has been endorsed by Jessica Gordon, Sylvia McAdam, Sheelah McLean and Nina Wilson, the four founders of Idle No More, along with the movement’s lead organizers, provincial and territorial chapters.
As a result of the alliance, Idle No More has now agreed to support non-violent direct action, including blockades, in the cause of Indigenous rights.
The Defenders of the Land is an established network of Indigenous activists that was formally formed in 2008. The network has been involved in Indigenous land rights issues across the country, including in ongoing hotspots like Ontario’s Grassy Narrows First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation and Barriere Lake in Quebec.
The joint declaration is calling for a “Sovereignty Summer” that would see “co-ordinated non-violent direct actions.” The statement also calls on “non-Indigenous peoples” to join Indigenous communities in the actions.
“Alternatives will only come to life if we escalate our actions, taking bold non-violent direct action that challenges the illegitimate power of corporations who dictate government police,” says the draft declaration.