Idle No More! Voices from Indigenous people in the DTES
Voices from Indigenous people in the Downtown Eastside on Idle No More:
Time for Aboriginal people to stand up and fight — for the reserve to fight for us. My reserve is the same as when I grew up. No more making promises. I’m raising my kids here and not up there because nothing has changed. No more broken promises! – Beatrice Starr
Wish they would just get it over and done with. We should get what we deserve. Stephen Harper is the elected leader, but he is saying, “To hell with us”. I don’t vote because I don’t see my issues and people represented. We need affordable housing especially for homeless. I thank my community who has supported me in getting housing.
– Darlene Mitchell
For me, one of my ancestors signed Treaty 6-8, back in the day. There’s too much manipulation going on. With my people, we believed the treaties at that time, that there would be this land, education and all that crap, but a lot of it isn’t happening. My people are still suffering just like the DTES. And that’s why people come to the city. There is resources – which is all fine and dandy, but the resources should be everywhere. I think it’s becoming global, this Idle No More, affects all nations. I will continue to be involved with events and actions. I believe this is for future generations. All my relations. – Victoria Bull
When the Mayan prophesy said that times were going to change I believe that’s Idle No More. Maybe we can look after Mother Earth and that’s not a native issue, but a human one. If natives don’t have water then we all don’t have water. People need to know what’s going on in the rural areas. Some places there is no running water, there’s mold in houses. People have asthma and breathing and sinus problems, babies get pneumonia. I think Idle No More is opening the government eyes that our reserves cannot be taken advantage of – that the riches, diamonds and oil are in our soil. I’m Métis, but I was raised on my Cocm’s reserve (I didn’t know what a flushing toilet was until I was 13). I was raised to fight. All my relations. – Elaine Derocher
Idle No More means our voices are going to be heard. Because of Bill C 45 and other bills are being shoved through the system. Under the Act of Queen Anne we are covered – each nation is to protect its first people. Any country that wants to change that has to go back to England. This is for the people. We will protect our lands the way they are supposed to be. These pipelines that they’re trying push through the north, Gitxsan, Burns Lake, Kitimat don’t have to have to have this –- they don’t have to have this rammed through their territories. I look back to Haida Gwaii when they were going for the trees. It wasn’t the young people that came forward it was the elders of the communities. The elders, not just of this land, but across Turtle Island need to take the fight back to Harper. And to let them know we are strong. Even if we are small, we have a loud voice. – Kelvin Bee