#IdleNoMore in Historical Context

A good backgrounder on the current Idle No More movement sweeping across Canada.

Decolonization

by Glen Coulthard

 

This article is also available in mp3 format.

 

Much has been said recently in the media about the relationship between the inspiring expression of Indigenous resurgent activity at the core of the #IdleNoMore movement and the heightened decade of Native activism that led Canada to establish the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) in 1991. I offer this short analysis of the historical context that led to RCAP in an effort to get a better sense of the transformative political possibilities in our present moment of struggle.

The federal government was forced to launch RCAP in the wake of two national crises that erupted in the tumultuous “Indian summer” of 1990. The first involved the legislative stonewalling of the Meech Lake Accord by Cree Manitoba MLA Elijah Harper. The Meech Lake Accord was a failed constitutional amendment package negotiated in 1987 by then Prime Minister…

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