Citizens across the Annapolis Valley are collaborating with Acadia University to launch a new Peacebuilding & Eco-Justice endeavour on Jan. 11, which as been designated as the #IdleNoMore Global Day of Action.
Co-hosted by the Indigenous Student's Society of Acadia (ISSA), and concerned faculty, students, and citizens, the peaceful initiative is being held in support of Idle No More , a grassroots movement started in response to the controversial omnibus Bill C-45 which affects all Canadians in some way.
The primary issues outlined in the Idle No More movement are related to changes with the Indian Act, the Navigation Protection Act and the Environmental Assessment Act.
There will be events held throughout the day on Friday, beginning at 10 a.m., at Welkaqnik, Aboriginal Gathering Space, DeWolfe House, Acadia Campus. At this time, interested individuals will be able to gather and share smoked arctic char, cut up with an ulu, a traditional Inuit women’s knife, served on a bagel and cream cheese.
At 11:30 a.m., the gathering will move to the snow-covered front lawn of University Hall, where everyone is invited to participate in a Flash Mob, for the "Footprints in the Snow" living art installation, bringing with them their own signs describing their personal concerns with Bill C-45.
This will lead into a peaceful procession through the Town of Wolfville at noon. This walk will also help garner awareness, with a “slow traffic” to pass out hand-outs, as well as participants continuing to spread word via their homemade signs.
The Raging Grannies are practicing their songs for the event, and local First Nations communities, and Sisters in Spirit representatives will be among the participants.
Beginning at 2 p.m., the events will be hosted in the Auditorium, in the lower level of the K.C. Irving Centre for the Environment (KCIC), with a series of question and answer periods, and documentary films. The schedule at KCIC is as follows:
• 1:30 p.m.: Participants will get a chance to warm up with hot chocolate, and meet and greet while the films are being set up
• 2 p.m.: Screening of the documentary film “Kanehsatake: 270 years of resistance”
• 3:30 p.m.: Q&A focused on media matters and current events with the theme “It's just history – Get over it!”
• 4 p.m.: Screening of the documentary film “Mohawk Girls”
• 5:30 p.m.: Q&A about the Sisters in Spirit, an Aboriginal Women's Rights group that Acadia has been allied with for four years. The theme of this session will be “We are all Angela Smith”, in honour of the Thunder Bay woman who was kidnapped and assaulted on December 27, 2012
• 6 p.m.: Screening of the documentary “Why White People Are Funny”, followed by an open Q&A where participants are free to ask any and all questions in a safe, respectful environment.
Friday's IdleNoMore day-long events launch the new Peacebuilding and Eco-Justice Endeavour in the Valley, with two public keynotes planned for next week. Dr. Rick Wallace will deliver a public lecture, "Peacebuilding in Canada - Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Working together: Some lessons for #IdleNoMore" from 7-9 p.m. in the KCIC Garden Room on Jan. 15, and Dr. John Reid will deliver a public lecture, “The Maritime Treaty Context of Idle No More,” on Jan. 17 in KCIC Auditorium.
Everyone is encouraged to attend any or all events that they wish. Children are welcome!