Idle No More themes explored

Robson Community School the location of informational session

Friday night turnout for an Idle No More 'Teach-in' on March 1 at Robson Community School. Jessica McLeod (4th from right) and Shemmaho Goodenough (3rd from right) organized and led the informational effort.

The Idle No More movement, so much in the news in past months, has not wound up even though its profile may have lowered of late. Such is the assurance from Jessica MacLeod and Shemmaho Goodenough.

MacLeod – daughter of a Northern Alberta Cree Chief and Goodenough – a concerned citizen and designated elder in the Castlegar area, teamed up to present an event labelled an Idle No More Teach-In on March 2 at Robson Community School.

The effort was designed as a vehicle for enhancing public awareness of aboriginal issues.

“A teach-in,” explained Goodenough as attendees arrived, “is an educational opportunity. We’ve gathered information and also bring our own experience to talk about Idle No More, which is basically an educational movement.”

Environmental issues are of great concern to the teach-in hosts, specifically fresh water issues. Goodenough brought up the topic of decreasing federal safeguards over water resources.

“We feel like its really dangerous for all Canadians,” she said. Other points related to mining, pipeline construction, and natural gas “tracking.”

McLeod pointed to federal legislation which she feels is being hurried along with too little public input being sought.

She supplied a sample item from the table full of printed handouts to back up her claim that growing environmental trouble likely lies ahead.

“Bill C45 which has passed, and is law, allows companies and pipelines to come without having to be environmentally accountable,” said MacLeod.

“They want to exploit the whole North all the way across,” added Goodenough.

The dozen or so who had accepted the invitation to the teach-in formed a circle with the hosts and heard presentations from each of them, starting with MacLeod who shared her personal history.

Born in an area about four hours north of Edmonton, MacLeod remembers a peaceful, enjoyable early childhood in spite of the lack of many modern amenities.

Major upheaval occurred following her parents’ separation

and the arrival on the scene of the second father-figure in her life, a man from Grand Forks. Moving to the Boundary Country was a big adjustment and caused much difficulty in her life. Introduction to smoking and drinking at an early age added to her troubles. “I was questioning everything,” she recalled.

MacLeod said that even though at one point she had denied her culture, the annual high points of her life were the summer trips back to Alberta. She has made it to where she is today, enjoying “a cultural resurgence… I am a proud Cree woman,” she concluded.

The theme of Goodenough’s presentation was “Colonization of the Mind.”

Also having provided a brief bit of personal background, Goodenough came equipped with an assortment of relevant reading material from the Selkirk College Library, a source of information she recommended to the group.

Ending Denial: Understanding Aboriginal Issues, by Wayne Warry was the first. She spoke on various points made in the selected volumes as they were passed around the circle.

Goodenough touched upon the history of European colonization, too much of which was based on the idea of aboriginal inferiority. She promotes the concept of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginals working on their common problems as partners, and declared, “People need to talk, establish a dialogue in order to understand each other.”

The other books focused on were: With Good Intentions, by Celia Haig-Brown and David A. Nock, and Peace, Power and Righteousness, by Taiaiake Alfred.

Just Posted

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Fire engulfs car on weekend

No one injured in incident

Nelson rejects plastic bag ban, opts for education and awareness

Council will collaborate with Chamber of Commerce

Nelson U-Haul shutting down

Kootenay Glass and Mirror will no longer provide the service as of July 12

Search for missing Salmo motorcyclist called off for the time being

RCMP say no evidence of Cory McKay’s whereabouts was found Thursday

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read