Excerpt from the article below.
In Juneau, Ishmael Hope called the Idle No More movement wholesome, simple and healing. Of Tlingit and Inupiat descent, Hope said the local rallies are not meant to antagonize.
“What we’re here to do is show who we are and that can translate into the politics of our time, and that can translate into the big issues of our time,” Hope said. “We could see how the clan, the language, our culture, our identity can connect with political issues, with ideas of sovereignty. “
Hope said the border between Alaska and Canada is invisible for Native people. And when it comes to major industrial development – like that proposed in the British Columbia wilderness – it could impact all Alaskans.
Guy Archibald is Mining and Clean Water Coordinator for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, which supports the Idle No More Movement.
“Up the Unik River, the Stikine River, the Sacred Headwaters, there’s huge open pit mines proposed mines proposed for up there,” he said. “The environmental review process of the Canadian federal government has been deregulated and defunded. It’s scary what could happen, and so much of our economy here in Southeast is dependent on these rivers. It’s a billion dollar fishing industry.”
While conservation groups share many of the values expressed in the Idle No More movement, Archibald said the cause should not be “co-opted by conservation groups.” He said Idle No More needs to remain an indigenous movement.