Archive for the ‘Idle No More’ Category

Beyond Voting: The Fetishization of the Ballot Box

Efforts to get people to vote, complete with ballot-box selfies, loomed large on social media, but when casting a ballot is treated as the noblest thing you can do in a democracy, it accommodates a status quo of incredibly narrow choices.


An excellent reflection on this important issue, written by Matthew Behrens, is available at:


Posted October 20, 2015 by allanbaker in Canadian society, Idle No More, Politics

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Adding context; erasing deficits

IMG_0373My mind suffers from a “history deficit”.

The historical context of many events that are happening in Canadian society  is unknown to me, and I am grateful to those who offer lessons that expand my reality. One of the wonderful lessons is in the following post abut the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Tsilhqot’in decision.

Ian Gill has published a blogpost that provided me with new insights on the context. For example, he writes:

“The Tsilhqot’in people had a history of bucking convention that stretched back to one of the great moments of resistance in B.C. history, the so-called Chilcotin War of 1864. Then, an attempt to build a road from Bute Inlet up to the Cariboo goldfields was brought to an abrupt and bloody end when several members of the road crew were killed; in retribution, six Tsilhqot’in men were arrested, tried and eventually hanged, even though they were later proven not to have taken part in the original war party.”

The full post, which helped me to reduce my “history deficit”, is available at:


Book – Aboriginal Power

Chris HChris Henderson is the Author of: Aboriginal Power.

For the past two and a half decades his professional focus has been at the intersection of clean energy, sustainable development, environmental action, economic development and Aboriginal communities.  He is Canada’s most respected commentator on Aboriginal clean energy opportunities, and acts a Clean Energy Advisor to over a dozen indigenous communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Chris plays a leadership role in the domain of Aboriginal Power, acting as:

    1. President of Lumos Energy Clean Energy Value Advisors Inc.

    2. Program Designer and Lead Mentor, 20/20 Catalysts Program

    3. National Coordinator, Aboriginal Clean Energy (ACE) Network

    4. Managing Director, Canadian Aboriginal Fund for Energy (CAFÉ)

Aboriginal communities, governments, utilities, private corporations, independent power development companies and financing firms regularly seek Chris’ strategic advice to catalyze clean energy projects and markets.

In 1988, Chris co-founded The Delphi Group, a leading national environmental consulting firm that has been at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change through cutting edge business strategies, innovative technologies and new economic thinking.

As head of Lumos Energy Chris wears multiple hats.  Through long-standing relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities he works to make hydro, wind and biomass projects a reality that can fuel sustainable prosperity for Canada’s First Peoples.  He acts as a mentor for Aboriginal clean energy leaders country-wide.

Chris is energetic and energized about making a difference in our world.  His life-force comes from a deep love for his partner Andrea, and their sons, Isaac and Noah; and a spiritual belief in Nature and the Creator.

You can contact him at:

Nation to Nation Bike Tour, 2013

Look for this story in your local, corporate – controlled media …

Nation to Nation Bike Tour

On July 27, the first-ever KAIROS and OteshaNation to Nation Bike Tour gets underway! Twelve Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth will start in Akwesasne and end in Tyendinaga; these are Kanien’kehaka  (Mohawk) communities that share the waters of the St Lawrence and Lake Ontario. In between, the cyclists will be hosted by non-Indigenous communities and groups.

The participants will be learning and sharing as they go, offering a new version of the Blanket Exercise in the communities they visit. There’s more information available on the KAIROS site. All events are currently posted to the KAIROS calendar and we’ll be adding more information as specifics are confirmed. Nation to Nation Bike Tour events posted to this calendar are open to all.

After four days of programming in Akwesasne,  the tour gets underway on July 31st with smudging, Mohawk prayer and opening address, words from Grand Chief Mike Mitchell, and songs from the A’nowarakowa Arena youth group singers.  Local media will be present. Many thanks to Akwesasne radio CKON-FM 97.3 for an excellent interview on the bike tour!

In the words of the Akwesasne planners, “ This is an important event as it acknowledges a new friendship that was created and teachings shared  between Mohawk members of the community and the KAIROS  youth group. Community support will be present to meet, give thanks and to help support the visitors’ journey.”

In turn, the KAIROS community would like to say nia:wen, thank you, to the Akwesasne community for their gift of starting the group’s time together in this good way. The community and the people are showing enormous generosity to the riders and KAIROS, as ceremonies, teachings and hosting are all shared. We also offer  thanks to Tyendinaga  for hosting the end of the  tour. Without these good words and actions, we could not continue KAIROS’ commitment to a new relationship built on justice and respect.

KAIROS’ gratitude also goes to the church communities who will also host the bikers. There are Lutheran, United and Presbyterian churches along the way who are hosting and caring for the riders. Thank you!  We’ll update information about all the generous hosts as it’s confirmed.

And of course, the people who have offered donations to help cover the riders’ expenses are also very much a part of this work. Any amount helps and you can still donate!

For more information please contact:
Katy Quinn
Indigenous Rights Program Coordinator
613 235-9956 x224

Testing a new Blanket Exercise workshop developed by Suzanne Keeptwo that will be offered at public events during the bike tour.


Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

King in 1964

January 21, 2013 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States of America.

In his “Letter From Birmingham Jail”, King offers wisdom that might be appropriate for those who raise questions about the tactics of the Idle No More movement.

Some of those comments, as I see it, are below, concluding with a reflection on the role of the Christian church. One wonders if this quotation from King is also applicable in today’s circumstances where Christian communities that proclaim justice as their mission are not involved with the Idle No More movement. At the same time, given the past involvement of churches in residential schools, maybe reconciliation between churches and First Nations needs to happen first.

  • “We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

  • “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

  • “The contemporary church is often a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. It is so often the arch-supporter of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent and often vocal sanction of things as they are.”