Opinion

Protest no idle opportunity

Pictured at right is last weekend’s rally at the Peace Arch border (see story, page 15). A letter writer hopes the enthusiasm generated by the Idle No More protests will lead to change in the federal government and encourage self-reliance, accountability and pride in aboriginal society.  - Boaz Joseph / The Leader
Pictured at right is last weekend’s rally at the Peace Arch border (see story, page 15). A letter writer hopes the enthusiasm generated by the Idle No More protests will lead to change in the federal government and encourage self-reliance, accountability and pride in aboriginal society.
— image credit: Boaz Joseph / The Leader

Aboriginal leaders and government bureaucrats have squandered too much time, money and energy playing the blame game. Idle No More has captured the imagination of Canadians.

The aboriginal people, including the Métis and non-status Indians, need the support of ordinary hard-working law-abiding tax-paying Canadians if the politicians are going to become sufficiently motivated to get off their butts and modernize that out-dated, inefficient, incompetent, colonial-based babysitting service known as the Department of Indian Affairs.

Before Idle No More spokespeople ride off in all directions, the so-called grassroots movement needs a national organization to articulate an action plan of short-term and long-term goals.

The politics of power might be distasteful for many banner-waving idealists, but a coordinating organization is necessary to select and negotiate pragmatic change.

Hopefully the enthusiasm generated by Idle No More will also focus on the day-to-day governance of reservations and thereby encourage self-reliance, accountability and pride.

Hopefully, Stephen Harper’s government will view the enthusiasm generated by Idle No More as an opportunity for change and not as a political threat that must be destabilized, disassembled and destroyed.

 

Lloyd Atkins

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