TERESA Moore from Gingolx in the Nass Valley.

Idle No More stages demo at Skeena Mall

Environmental changes protested at Dec. 28 demonstration in Terrace, BC

CANNED CHRISTMAS music was no match for the drums and the singing that marked a late afternoon First Nations “Idle No More” demonstration Dec. 28 inside the Skeena Mall in Terrace.

Several hundred people gathered near the entrance of the new Dollarama store to hear speakers denounce what they said were federal Conservative government moves to remove environmental protections.

Dancers from several groups followed the speakers, the drums and voices reverberating throughout the mall. Shouts and cheering went up each time drummers paused while the name of a northwest First Nation was called out.

The effect of social media was also evident with upraised smartphones and other electronic devices rivalling protest signs, banners and placards.

Smarthphones were in use at Idle No More demoThe Terrace demonstration is one of many taking place across the country, sparked by the hunger strike of Attawapiskat chief councillor Theresa Spence.

“Idle No More” also focusses on changes to legislation affecting  First Nations governance.

The changes are contained in Bill C-45, the massive piece of federal Conservative legislation which while is part of the government’s budget plans, also has an impact on a wide variety of other areas.

“I’m here for my grandchildren,” said Teresa Moore from Gingolx in the Nass Valley, just one of many holding signs.

Local Idle organizer Shalane Pauls, one of the first speakers, said First Nations people are connected to the land.

“Our land is our culture,” she said as people cheered.

Another speaker, former Haisla chief councillor Gerald Amos, thanked the young people who organized the demonstration.

“Our creator gave us a voice, aboriginal as well as non-aboriginal,” said Amos. “We’d be irresponsible not to use that voice.”

Other speakers urged those in attendance to vote.

“We must vote to make our voices heard,” said one.

Current Kitsumkalum chief councillor Don Roberts spoke out against Enbridge’s planned Northern Gateway oil pipeline and also criticized plans for natural gas pipelines and gas liquefaction plants.

“We’re all opposed … against that,” he said.

Following the speeches and drumming, the crowd proceeded down the length of the mall.

Signs at Idle No More demo in Terrace

One demonstrator, with a mosquito net draped over his head, held what looked like a battery-powered plastic light sabre on which was taped a sign proclaiming “free energy” on one side and “free Ksan” on the other.

Several mall security guards maintained a low-key presence and one RCMP officer briefly observed from a distance before leaving.

One of the new federal measures being protested is a change in how voting on reserves is conducted when approval is sought to lease land.

Previously, a majority of eligible First Nations voters had to turn out for a vote to lease land and of that number, a majority had to approve of the lease deal.

Now, a simple majority of those who actually turn out to vote is needed.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Horgan makes campaign stop in Terrace and Kitimat

BC NDP leader met with local First Nations leaders, reiterated campaign promises

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

‘Monkey Beach’ supernatural film adaptation premiers at VIFF

Based on Kitamaat author Eden Robinson’s debut, mystical novel

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Ecosocialists nominate candidate for Stikine

Edward Quinlan is the new party’s regional director for Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read