EDITORIAL: Idle No More stokes the fire

Both sides need to come to the table with a goal of finding tangible solutions to the most serious aboriginal issues

The Idle No More movement continues to pick up steam around Greater Victoria as various groups, including the students who rallied here last weekend, jump on board.

But is all the drumming and chanting doing any good?

A Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll done earlier this month found that only four in 10 Canadians is sympathetic to the goals and aims of Idle No More. But the same poll found that fewer than four in 10 Canadians were even familiar with the goals and aims of the movement.

To us, that’s a big disconnect and a sign that supporters aren’t piquing the average citizen’s interest with demonstrations, sit-ins and hunger strikes. That doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of work to do to resolve systemic problems in the relationship between First Nations and government.

Getting key players on both sides to sit down and talk about those issues is a good start.

Assembly of First Nations national chief Shawn Atleo, who met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Jan. 11, says his organization will pressure the feds to continue working toward improving that relationship.

Atleo and Harper met a year ago in what the Prime Minister’s Office called “a historic meeting.” In optimistic, yet vague fashion, the government titled the meeting Strengthening Our Relationship – Unlocking Our Potential.

No doubt, work has since been done to clarifying agreed-upon goals around governance, access to education, community self-sufficiency and other areas. Idle No More emerged, nonetheless, which makes one question whether Harper and company were paying lip service to First Nations last January.

Despite the seeming disconnect with the majority of Canadians, the grassroots protest movement has restoked the fire in First Nations and is slowly getting non-aboriginals to pay more attention to grassroots aboriginal issues.

But progress won’t come through noisy demonstrations and hunger strikes. It’ll be achieved through First Nations leaders working together with government using a focused, unified, businesslike approach.

Just Posted

READERS’ CHOICE: Saluting the stars of the Saanich Peninsula

Welcome to the Peninsula News Review’s 13th annual Readers’ Choice Awards, our… Continue reading

BCAM slated to get one of last remaining Lancaster bombers

Approval seems certain despite emotional Torontonian appeals

Saanich Peninsula athletes earn their place at B.C. Games

The Saanich Peninsula will be well-represented next week as the 40th annual… Continue reading

A sled dog with an amazing past shows a young pug the ropes

A local school bus driver and passionate dog lover has written his… Continue reading

Launch party for Vancouver Island’s new soccer team a success

Over 3,000 seats will be added to Westhills Stadium in the next 6 months

BC Games: Day 1 comes to an end

Medals have already been handed out following one day of competition in the 2018 BC Summer Games

Big-time racing on tap in Langford this month

Western Speedway the place to be for a roaring good time in summer

BC Wildfire update on Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

ZONE 6: Rugby star Maggie Banks carries family legacy to BC Games

Shawnigan Lake student and Coquitlam native following her parents to the national program

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Most Read