Beginning of a movement

Cathy Swain writes to explain why she supports the Idle No More movement.

Dear editor,

 

I am an “Idle No More” believer. I support Chief Theresa Spence. I took part in both the rally held at the Thunderbird Mall on Dec. 21, 2012 and the march that was held last Friday in Port Hardy.

I’ve even gone so far as to take a 48-hour fast just to emulate Chief Spence’s hunger strike.

I’ve learned recently that it was projected, here in Tsulquate, that we as Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw people, would be extinct by 2005 due to the many deaths that were occurring.

 

There were far more deaths than there were births since our move here in 1964. And while we have had our struggles and continue to do so, we have prevailed. As a matter of fact, we are one of the fastest growing First Nation communities in B.C.!

 

Our homelands are not in this area and I am thankful that the Kwakiutl have accepted us to live in their territories.

 

No, we did not choose to move here but we have adjusted and are making the best of it.

 

Prior to moving here at the age of seven, my memories are vague and those I do have are pictorial only.

No verbal memories, meaning I don’t recall any conversations with anyone as a child. It wasn’t until adulthood that I found out that I actually spoke my language then.

Friday’s march included many first nations as well as non-native people. What totally inspires me about the Idle No More movement is the fact that our people are awakening. And we are speaking out against the wrongs that are being done to us.

 

We are speaking out and letting it be known that we can work together as a people living in the North Island and that we want to work with everyone to protect our finite resources.

 

A young woman, Tammy Hunt from Quatsino, worked to pull us together for today’s march. There were far more people in attendance than the one held in December.

 

This peaceful march showed that we can work together. I personally would love to see all North Islanders work together to help preserve our resources.

 

Chief Spence has opened my eyes to the fact that we are giving the government free rein to allow other countries to come in and take what belongs to Canada.

It has to stop.

Thank you.

Cathy Swain

Port Hardy