Sunday, July 14, 2013

Letting Go of Idle No More

I was inspired by #idlenomore. 

I wrote about it, taught about it, encouraged others about it and what it means to me and to others. My context was to preserve Indigenous rights and oppose those laws that threatened those rights and our inherent rights in relation to the land. #Idlenomore made me feel like my own advocacy in education mattered and that was where my focus remained (obviously I am not in contact with the "leadership" of the movement).  I'm trying to educate students and teachers about the Indigenous experience and the needs of our students and communities. Idle No More offered something that was tangible and that I could apply to my teaching so that teachers could see the consequences of the ongoing colonial system. 

The problem with the incorporation of the term is that I now can fear that the way I invoke the movement, in my teaching or in one of my videos or films, could lead to a lawsuit if the owners of the trademark disagrees with my approach or thoughts in advocating for Indigenous education and Indigenous rights.  I have not always agreed with other Native advocates or leaders and they have not always liked what I have had to say. Now, with the seeming breaks in the Assembly of First Nations (not a fan) and the possible new National Treaty Alliance (excluded because we have no treaty here and are not involved in the process), I am suddenly concerned with the idea that if I invoke Idle No More, I could be told I'm wrong (regardless if this is a truth or not). I don't want that. 

I don't know if I am muddying the conversation in any way, seeing things that aren't there. I have felt a bit lost lately because of different voices shouting Idle No More and Indigenous Nationhood Movement and AFN and NTA and being generally ignored by the governments of BC and Canada anyways,  I haven't really known where to hang my hat or even if I should. These times have been and continue to feel very disheartening and this bit of news just feels like a capper along with those other things.  

It is their right to do so, it is protecting their intellectual property and moving forward on whatever their agenda might be. but for me, no more using Idle No More, I guess. Fair enough. My voice is soft and often ignored but it is mine and I should use that.

1 comment:

  1. As an average Ontarian in rural Ontario, I too find it very confusing. I am just finishing up an online qualification to teach Native Studies, and it's been disheartening to see the fractures. Divide and conquer and all that. On the other hand, it may be a natural part of the growing pains and something great is evolving.