Information pickets and traffic slowdowns planned
Madahbee said the 39 member communities of the Anishinabek Nation would join First Nations across Canada — as well as the Idle No More movement — Wednesday in what will be the first in a series of National Days of Action.
"The best way First Nations and other Canadians can express their disappointment with federal indifference is to translate their concerns into action," Madahbee, grand council chief of the Anishinabek Nation, said Tuesday.
The local actions coincide with similar actions, including potential transportation blockades, taking place across the country tomorrow.
Some 3,000 people rallied in Ottawa on Jan. 11 to oppose two things: provisions in two omnibus bills and to Assembly of First Nations leadership meeting privately with Prime Minister Stephen Harper without Gov. Gen. David Johnston being present.
First Nations leaders, particularly from Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, vowed to express their frustration with demonstrations Jan. 16.
In Sudbury, Idle No More Sudbury announced plans on its Facebook page for a rally Jan. 16. The group plans to start marching at noon from the N'Swakamok Friendship Centre to the Rainbow Centre, where members will hand out leaflets to customers.
There was some discussion on the page about holding off until Friday when Greater Sudbury Police could assist, but the march seems to be going ahead. The group does not say if the two-hour action will involve slowing down traffic.
Elsewhere, actions are planned on Hwy. 6 at Birch Island from 9 a.m to 11 a.m. where info sheets will be handed out.
Serpent River First Nation will hold teachings sessions with Chief Isadore Day and an information sheet distribution on Hwy. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As well, Nipissing First Nation will be doing a traffic slow-down on Hwy. 17 between Yellek and Beaucage Park Road from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence's hunger strike continues. She has subsisted on a diet of fish broth and tea on Ottawa's Victoria Island for more than a month now, even as politicians like NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and former Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean implored her to end her protest for the good of her health.
Also on the health front, embattled Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Shawn Atleo, after a frustrating week in which he both negotiated with the federal government and faced criticism from his members for how he handled the negotiations, announced he was taking a doctor-ordered break.
The announcement was made in a post on the AFN website, which also stated Roger Augustine, a chief from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, would chair the group's national executive meetings while Atleo takes a brief break.
Accusing the Harper government of stifling debate by using its majority to pass giant-sized pieces of legislation through Parliament, Anishinabek's Chief Madahbee said opposition to omnibus bills is spreading beyond First Nations.
"Canadians from all walks of life have implored the Harper government to reconsider the undemocratic manner in which they have stifled debate and rammed massive pieces of legislation through Parliament,” he said.
Bills like C-45 threaten the safety of our lakes and rivers, the fish that inhabit them and ignore constitutional and legal requirements to work with First Nations on issues that affect Native Canadians, he added.
"Now other citizens understand our frustration,” Madahbee said. “We have pursued all the proper political channels, but this government refuses to respect First Nations' rights.
"Harper may have pulled the wool over some people's eyes last week in Ottawa, but Chief Theresa Spence is still fasting for justice. We call on other Canadians to be understanding and supportive of our efforts in the days ahead to demonstrate to members of the Harper caucus that they were not elected to ignore the will of the people.”