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Idle No More: TIB Chief says he supports movement
Tk’emlups Indian Band Chief Shane Gottfriedson said he supports the Idle No More campaign to draw attention to issues faced by First Nations.
Of band member Evelyn Camille’s decision to fast in her sweat lodge in support of Atawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s protest, Gottfriedson said it is “very honorable and considerate of our elder and former leader. I will also pray for my elder that all her prayers will be answered.”
While offering his support of Camille’s protest, Gottfriedson said last month it is time for Spence to end her protest and sit down with other First Nations leaders to discuss what steps should be taken.
The chief said he would not allow Idle No More rallies on TIB land.
In an email to KTW with the subject line “Anything but idle,” Gottfriedson said he agrees with concerns about federal-government changes to environmental laws.
The TIB agenda, Gottfriedson wrote, “as clearly directed to us by our membership, is to find solutions and produce results.”
He noted protests are effective in bringing attention to issues, “but the next steps are even more important. Parties have to sit down and work out solutions that are meaningful and sustainable.”
He said his band has moved past the days of protest on many issues and now takes steps to ensure problems identified are addressed.
“The Tk’emlups band took the lead in Canada in pursuing justice for the day scholars [of residential schools] and, with our friends in Sechelt, we have commenced legal action on behalf of these unrecognized victims,” Gottfriedson wrote.
“Other First Nations groups are now looking to join our cause and we are looking to build a national groundswell of support.
“Actions like this are neither cheap nor easy, but sitting idle was not an option for us.”