Tribal Council Members Join in Support of Idle No More March

Jan 8, 2013

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council expressed its support for the Idle No More protest movement and its opposition to Bill C-45 in the Canadian Parliament. Despite cold temperatures, Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance and Sub-Chief Eric Thompson joined the many hundreds of others who marched in peaceful protest on Saturday January 5, 2013. “This is an important movement to preserve the treaty rights of Canadian First Nations,” declared Chief LaFrance. It doesn’t matter which side of the border we’re on. What matters is our ability to support each other when treaty rights are threatened.” Chief LaFrance joined the protestors at the front of the march and sang traditional Mohawk songs with other singers and drummers.

As the smell of burning sage floated in the air, protesters gathered near the parking lot of the General Motors plant to assemble for the march. They carried flags and signs and many wore ceremonial clothing. After crossing the bridge span between Massena and Cornwall Island, the marchers were met with other supporters who continued on the march across the northern-most bridge to the city of Cornwall. Once in Cornwall, the marchers joined hands to completely encompass the traffic circle, just north of the bridge. There they continued to drum and sing and performed a round dance. “The turn-out was impressive,” said Sub-Chief Thompson. “This was truly a family event with community members of all ages participating. This peaceful march reflects the grass-roots nature of the Idle No More movement. We also appreciate the support from our neighbors and the level of media coverage.” Sub-Chief Thompson was also at the front of the march and others joined him in singing as he played his traditional hand-drum.

The Idle No More movement has also been supporting Northern Ontario Tribal Chief Theresa Spence. She is in her fourth week of a hunger strike to bring attention to issues facing Canadian First Nations. She has vowed not to take any solid food until Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with Native leaders. Harper has agreed to a meeting with Native leaders on Friday January 11, 2013.

For more information contact the Public Information office at 518-358-2272.

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