Kevin published a new article today in his second attempt to denigrate the motives of the grass-roots movement Idle No More. Like so many who do not know, or who care to investigate the history of this movement and it’s official stance, it can be made to appear that INM is in league with the ‘infidels’ in the AFN and Parliament Hill.
This cannot be further from the truth.
I humbly ask forgiveness for copying the exact text from Idle No More’s website, but there can be no ambiguity in this matter:
The Founders and many of the organizers of Idle No More from Across Canada have been given word that the Leadership is calling for action in the name of Idle No More.
They have also stated in a press release that they have met with Idle No More representatives that support this call. We would like to state that this is FALSE.
The Chiefs have called for action and anyone who chooses can join with them, however this is not part of the Idle No More movement as the vision of this grassroots movement does not coincide with the visions of the Leadership. While we appreciate the individual support we have received from Chiefs and councelors, we have been given a clear mandate by the grassroots to work outside of the systems of government and that is what we will continue to do. We are not trying to have division amongst this movement! However Chief Nepinak stated, “we are behind the grassroots people”. Please let others know!!!!
I would also like to add, the face of the Idle No More people are you and I. The people who walk turtle island and the people who walk on this earth.
Idle No More began on November 10th, 2012 at Stations 20 West, Saskatoon, SK. The early stages of the movement consisted of 5 rallies before our National Day of Action on December 10th.
Chief Spence decided she would fast on that day as part of her action to support the Idle No More movement. It is very important this history is known. We are very greatful for Theresa Spences honourable and courageous support, we also need to remember the face of Idle No More is also the grassroots people.
There have been talks of getting leaders to lead, however, we are the leaders!!! Remember that!!!!
This is not what Kevin Annett would have you believe, however. He paints a convenient image of a people so decimated and ‘absorbed’ by colonialization that they are incapable of thought, incapable of action; immobilized by their dependence on their ‘Masters’. He states:
a colonized people are no longer a people, but an appendage – that’s the Latin meaning of “colon” – of the bigger Body Politic of the Conquerors.
John Stuart Mills, who believed colonialism was a necessary function of a liberal capitalist society had this to say:
“A core doctrine of liberalism holds that all individuals share a capacity for reason and self-government. The theory of developmental history, however, modifies this universalism with the notion that these capacities only emerge at a certain stage of civilization. For example, according to John Stuart Mill (hereafter Mill), savages do not have the capacity for self-government because of their excessive love of freedom.”
“Mill’s solution to the problem of imperial misgovernment was to eschew parliamentary oversight in favor of a specialized administrative corps. Members of this specialized body would have the training to acquire relevant knowledge of local conditions. Paid by the government, they would not personally benefit from economic exploitation and could fairly arbitrate conflicts between colonists and indigenous people. Mill, however, was not able to explain how to ensure good government where those wielding political power were not accountable to the population.” – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
In fact, NO ONE has been able to explain how to “ensure good government where those wielding political power were not accountable to the population.” This is the crux of all our problems and where we find ourselves with so many grass-roots movements gaining momentum in the past few years. It is the back-firing of Mill’s Imperial Solution and Kevin’s denigration of the spirit of Original peoples that finds us looking inwards to discover our ‘real selves’ and outwardly at our institutions.
Rather than inspire the hundreds of people Kevin works with to find their voices and add them to INM, he puts them and the movement down and uses the article as an opportunity to whine about how the Mohawks screwed up the dig at Brantford, and not him.
He calls those ‘Indians’ who are poor and downtrodden, ‘realists’, and by saying so, relegates them back to being those children in the Residential Schools, dependant on the good grace and wisdom of the Reverends of this world.
Mills philosophy failed to stand the test of time, and Kevin’s disappointing rhetoric of ‘Indian state-paid agents’ attempts to demean the proven capacity and abilities of Original peoples. Despite what Kevin would have us believe, I have incredible faith that the people in Idle No More are not helplessly suffering any more. How miraculous that four Native women could inspire the world and challenge the paradigms of imperialism and colonialism and any other ‘ism’ we care to throw out into the void.
The movement will have it’s divisions, no doubt… it’s nay-sayers. In essence, those who fear and are mired in the dogma’s of the last age will reject this movement on whatever principles they hold dear. Militant anarchists may want to subvert it, Chiefs may want to control it, Politicians will try to ignore it, and Kevin will pout that he can’t be a champion of it. But the noisy tantrums of those groups will be crowed out by the voices of the people who know what it is they want…and the importance of who they really are.