Idle No More Border Peaceful Blockade in Akwesasne by Don Smith – January 5, 2013

Idle No More Border Peaceful Blockade in Akwesasne by Don Smith – January 5, 2013


CFN – As was anticipated to be the case at several U.S./Canada borders today, the Idle No More movement, known as the Turtle Island Movement to some, demonstrated along the International border that passes through the Akwesasne Mohawk territory between Cornwall and Rooseveltown.  Estimates of the crowd size vary, but average around 1,000 participants including some non-natives.

Protesters crossing the Seaway International Bridge at CornwallPhoto courtesy Teneya Mitchell
Protesters crossing the Seaway International Bridge at Cornwall
Photo courtesy Teneya Mitchell
Idle No More arriving in CornwallPhoto by Don Smith
Idle No More arriving in Cornwall
Photo by Don Smith

The protest march began at 10 a.m. on the U.S. side of the border at the GM plant, then proceeded to Cornwall Island where others joined before continuing on to Cornwall around 11 a.m. In anticipation of the protest, police had prohibited all traffic on both bridges and closed off a section of Brookdale Avenue to allow safe passage past Customs, and around the traffic circle. Participants round danced in a double line around the traffic circle. Some shook rattles while others beat drums. Flags and banners were also carried. The day concluded with a Peoples’ Fire potluck.

Double Circle forming on Brookdale Avenue Traffic CirclePhoto by Don Smith
Double Circle forming on Brookdale Avenue Traffic Circle
Photo by Don Smith

Organizer Jose Verdugo had requested that this be a peaceful, respectful march. Camo wear was prohibited; anyone desirous of indicating status of a warrior was requested to don a traditional ribbon shirt.

Protest rounding Cornwall's Traffic CirclePhoto by Don Smith
Protest rounding Cornwall’s Traffic Circle
Photo by Don Smith

WhyShouldNonIndigenousCareThe movement is protesting what participants view as unwarranted infringement of rights, the rights of First Nations people as well as the rights of all Canadians. They are speaking out against omnibus Bill C-45 and other acts of the Canadian government which are seen as stifling debate and undermining democracy. Concerns abound over respect for the natural environment and fears that corporate greed will trump clean air and water as well as access rights.

Participants hold diametrically opposite views in some regards. While some are happy to work within the framework of Canadian law and work for law reform, others very much view themselves as citizens of another nation entirely with laws of their own, intent on asserting indigenous sovereignty.

Our first video clip features highlights of the Cornwall section of the protest.

In our second video clip, two of the many protestors coming from across North America, Ochekwi Sipi ekwa Kinosao Sipi Muskego Ininuuk Territory (Manitoba)  A.K.A. Fisher River & Norway House (Fish River) Cree Nation Rita Campbell and Rose McLeod  share why they felt that they had to participate in today’s event.

Protestors planting indigenous flags below Canadian flag
Protestors planting indigenous flags below Canadian flag – Photo by Don Smith


To discuss concerns over Bill C-45 and various Treaty rights, Prime Minister Harper has agreed to meet withTreatyExpiredLeaseUp Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence on January 11th, exactly one month after she began her well-publicized “hunger strike.”

The Idle No More Community has a Facebook page located here.

The Truth Movement Canada Network is an umbrella group comprised of approximately 50 groups which are part of the Occupy Canada effort.

You Are on Indian Land by Mort Ransen, National Film Board of Canada

Don Smith reports on a variety of topics, notably good news items as well as social justice issues.



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60 Comments on "Idle No More Border Peaceful Blockade in Akwesasne by Don Smith – January 5, 2013"

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Okay Bella-b I relented and did take a peak at your last URL. Isn’t it amasing that the very first response comment I picked up was this one……….. ‎””””””””Yesterday, ‎January ‎8, ‎2013, ‏‎9:36:35 AM | Concerned Indian I’m an aboriginal from a reserve and who grew up on a reserve. This is no surprise as it happens in my community all the time. Funny how much we as a people deny this is happening and let it cloud our judgments. Wake up people, THIS DOES AND IS HAPPENING AS WE SPEAK!. If we are ever going to be taken seriously… Read more »
dukers it’s all I can do to fight the misinformed here at this paper, I’m not responding to comments from another one. The point of the article is the false accusations by the Harper government to try to save face. “If everyone is so concerned about the lack of documentation, then fine, come back, start contacting the suppliers, go through the banks, get into it in a little more detail because I don’t think you’ll find any misappropriation of funds,” said Kennedy, who was the band’s co-manager between July 2010 and August 2012. Funny thing is Chief Spence is being… Read more »
hailey Brown

Let me ask you Bella if the media suits you its legit, if it is counter to your beliefs its smoke and mirrors, could the article from aptn be the true smoke and mirriors


So what are you in this for Hailey? To make sure no one even thinks for one moment natives could be sincere ad honest? Or are you in it to make your man Harper look like a prince who’s getting screwed over?again.

I’m done with you, unless you answer some questions yourself. I’ve posed several to you and dukers, but for some reason you want to attack me. and make me feel small and useless.

Have a lovely day.


Duker, please explain how c45 will help natives pay our own way?

So based on the testimony of one self proclaimed anonymous “Indian” all native money’s should be cut off.

Is this the way it is handled in non native communities? Any time there is a hint of money mis dealing you cut off total funding ie welfare to the most vulnerable of society?
Or do you feel this is an acceptable solution in your mind because it is a native community?

hailey Brown

I am sorry you do not see the irony in your posts. They are the perfect example of what is wrong with Canada.
Most people only choose what they believe to be just and either support it or become frustrated with it. There is more truth then what we see in the media, sorry CFN.

You like so many others lack the ability to see the grander perspective and like sheep being led to slaughter stand inline and wait your turn

Why won’t the Harper government deal with the natives like he said he wanted to last year? Why won’t the Harper government open treaties and renegotiate and let natives govern themselves? Why does the Harper government continually make false promises to both the natives and nonnatives alike? These are questions that need to be answered. Why all the secrecy behind bill c-45? Why not negotiate with the natives as is required by the treaties his predecessors signed? And if the Harper government thinks treaties are no big deal, perhaps US government should ignore the treaties too and claim ten miles… Read more »
Swampy Cree

Friday, January 11, 2013, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, Anishinabee Nation
Idle No More Lawyer Pamela Palmater, Mi’kmaw Nation
Interview with Al Jazeera Washington


Swampy Cree

Whapmagoostui First Nation youth are trekking 1100 kms to Ottawa. Idle No More

1100 km = 660 miles


The government should just close this border crossing.