Idle No More in Kitimat

Supporters of Idle No More gathered in Kitimat on December 30.

Supporters of Idle No More took to Kitimat’s streets, stopping traffic at the Lahakas/Haisla Boulevard intersection, before taking to the halls of City Centre Mall, while Haisla dancers performed to traditional drums.

The now global movement which supports First Nations rights and sovereignty touched down in Kitimat on Sunday, December 30, thanks to the efforts of Burton Amos, who was born and raised in the area, although he currently calls Vancouver home.

While in town for the holidays he felt there needed to be a local demonstration for the Idle No More movement and organized the Sunday march with less than 24 hours notice, though by his count he still had over 80 people come out.

“The whole idea was to address the environmental issues that are happening because of the government actions, like [Prime Minister] Harper especially, pushing legislation forward to help China get their oil,” said Amos.

The environment was clearly the top issue for supporters in Kitimat, which is potentially the place of a number of industrial projects, most controversially the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline which will bring in bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.

“One oil spill will end our ability to live off the land. All it’s going to take is one oil spill because oil doesn’t leave,” said Amos.

He believes that an oil spill in the channel would cause a devastating chain reaction, from killing fish stocks to affecting land-based animals.

“To the government and the people involved it’s all about money but to us it’s all about our future.”

Amos added he hopes the movement, at least locally, doesn’t end here. People had approached him to do many more such rallies, but being that he lives in Vancouver he said it would be up to the people here to keep the torch going.

According to the official Idle No More blog, the movement began with Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon and Sheelah McLean, who “felt it was urgent to act on current and upcoming legislation that not only affects our First Nations people but the rest of Canada’s citizens, lands and waters.” The four ladies began organizing Teach-Ins starting in November which were geared to aim awareness of Bill C-45, the government’s omnibus bill which has altered the classification of some protected waters as well as made some changes to the Indian Act.

Idle No More rallies are also inspired by the actions of Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence, who is on a hunger strike until she can meet with senior members of the government to discuss First Nations issues.

Just Posted

Environment Canada says removing weather buoy won’t affect boaters

“We just don’t know that we’ll be into the bad stuff until we’re out there.” - Hittel

Refurbishing line is still cheaper

BC Hyrdo says the $15 million spent hasn’t gone to waste

Townhall will update Kitimat on LNG projects

“This is a chance for our voice to be heard,” said Johnston.

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Uplifting news for Kitimat Museum Archives

The District of Kitimat will put the project out to tender

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Most Read