Thursday, January 17, 2013

Idle No More...and the Heart of Women!

Idle No More Founders

JANUARY 17, 2013



Idle No More...And the Woman took over!

JANUARY 16, 2013


I am in awe, then I read what Aaron wrote and I cry, not for sadness or pain but humility, pride, honor, appreciation, beauty, expression, love, respect, giftedness, and that warrior inside of me that knows there is a better way! 

About the painting: Like this movement, this piece is a work in progress. It’s depicting the 8th fire and okicitaw (9 clan mothers/warrior women during Treaty making). There are 8 figures, the ninth is represented by any female viewer, reminding us that we are all necessary to keep Treaties alive.

The Meaning is the Message – thoughts on truth, history and Idle No More

As I write this, I’m listening to an Elder speak. He’s streaming live – a digital town hall meeting. He’s recounting his experiences in Residential School as a boy. As his gentle voice speaks I relive the horror. I’ve been hearing these stories for years now and they never get easier.
He’s talking about the babies they burned at school that were fathered by the priests on the young native girls. He’s worried that telling his story will offend his neighbours.
Today there were road blocks across Canada.
Now, I’m not an advocate for these road blocks, I feel there is a chance of putting innocent people in danger and it only fosters animosity, makes enemies of people we want as friends; gives license for violence against indigenous people in the court of public opinion. I understand the arguments for them, but I am still uneasy.
Like the Elder, I don’t want to offend my neighbour. I want to befriend my neighbour. And I want to share my love of the water, the land, the air we breathe. I hope my neighbour will come to care about these things, too. That they will see how it affects us all. However, if standing up and speaking offends you, then I guess we’ll all just have to live with that.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen animosity grow, hatred and racism reveal itself, unashamed.
But we’ve also seen the good in people, and that has far outweighed the bad...READ MORE...

I do all this for nosisim (my grandchild)...and the ones yet unborn!



Bullet Proof comes from ..."[the] reaction to the years of intense battle, loss of land, broken treaties, and cultural restrictions, those Lakota who practiced the Ghost Dance began to make sacred shirts that were believed to be "bullet-proof"... maybe the Spirit of Idle No More are those Sacred Shirts!

Native American History: Ghost Dance

Received from Native American History: Ghost Dance
Ceremonial Buffalo Skull: Ghost Dance
Ceremonial Buffalo Skull: Ghost Dance
A mysterious and often misunderstood Native American ritual, the Ghost Dance once inspired fear among white Americans during the late 19th century.
…but, this ominous (interesting Bill C-45 is called the ominous bill) spirit dance actually began as a nonviolent religious movement called “fight no one and hate no one”.
Origins of the Ghost Dance
The Ghost Dance movement was born from a vision of the Paiute prophet, Wovoka. He prophesied that this dance would bring peace and happiness to the devastated Indian tribes – disease had ravaged the Indian population and their numbers were decimated; many of their land treaties with the white settlers had been broken and the Native American people were forcefully relocated to reservations…they had been stripped of their land, their culture, and their freedom.
A hope for peace
During this time of profound misery, Wovoka began to practice and teach the Indian tribes this spirit dance to give them hope and help them overcome their pain and suffering.
It was believed the dance would incite a great apocalypse and ultimately lead to a peaceful end of the white American expansion, the preservation of the Native American culture, and the return of the buffalo.
The Lakota version of the dance
As the dance spread throughout the Plains Indian tribes of the West, each began to fuse elements of the ritual with their own beliefs. Although violence and rebellion against white Americans was never a part of the Ghost Dance, many Lakota (a once proud warrior society) were willing to die to protect it.
By the late 1800s, countless Lakota traditions had already been banned by the government. It seemed they had few alternatives left other than to use force against their oppressors – from reservation police, government agents, and the military, to white settlers – in defense of their culture and the few traditions they had left.
In reaction to the years of intense battle, loss of land, broken treaties, and cultural restrictions, those Lakota who practiced the Ghost Dance began to make sacred shirts that were believed to be "bullet-proof".
Native American Ghost Dance Dress
Ghost Dance Dress
Ghost Dance shirts & dresses
Made of animal hide adorned with fringe and feathers, the paintings decorating aGhost Dance dress or shirt ranged from the very simple to the complex with elaborate designs that represented their mythology, such as the sun, moon, stars, as well as trance-like visions.
This sacred clothing was worn by all believers – man, woman, or child – as an outside garment during the sacred dance, but it was also thought to have been worn at other times under ordinary dress.
The Ghost Dance comes to a tragic end
The Ghost Dance is often linked to Lakota resistance and the white Americans’ fear of an Indian uprising. On December 29, 1890, this atmosphere of volatile distrust finally erupted in a bloody massacre – the Ghost Dance ended in tragedy at Wounded Knee....READ FURTHER

Saturday, January 12, 2013




Idle No More grassroots Founders and Organizers from across Canada, in Solidarity with Common Causes - a new initiative bringing together social justice, environmental, labour and other Activist Groups…

- UNITED we are planning IDLE NO MORE WORLD DAY OF ACTION on January 28th, 2013 #J28.

This day of action will peacefully protest attacks on Democracy, Indigenous Sovereignty, Human Rights and Environmental Protections when Canadian MPs return to the House of Commons on January 28th. As a grassroots movement, clearly no political organization speaks for Idle No More. This movement is of the people… For The People! #IDLENOMOREFTP

The Vision of IDLE NO MORE revolves around Indigenous Ways of Knowing rooted in Indigenous Sovereignty to protect water, air, land and all creation for future generations.

The Conservative government bills beginning with Bill C-45 threaten Treaties and this Indigenous Vision of Sovereignty.

The Goal of the movement is education and the revitalization of Indigenous peoples through Awareness and Empowerment.  IDLE NO MORE has successfully encouraged knowledge sharing of Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Protections.

This message has been heard around the world and the world is watching how Canada responds to the message sent by many INM Supporters.

INM urges the government of Canada to repeal all legislation; which violates Treaties, Indigenous Sovereignty and subsequently Environmental Protections of land and water.

INM is grateful to many leaders who have supported this vision and the movement of the grassroots people. “The Treaties are the last line of defense to protect water and lands from destruction,” stated Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs.


#IDLENOMORE                  #IDLNOMOREFTP           #J28

Founder’s Contact:
Sheelah McLean –
Sylvia McAdam –
Jess Gordon –
Nina Wilson –


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I am Idle NO More

I am part of the Idle No More movement since I attended a teach-in on December 2, 2012 in a small reservation in Canada called Louis Bull hosted by Tanya Kappo.  Also the place we were all encouraged to use the twitter hashtag "#idlenomore" & use social media to create awareness and empower the people to act in peace & solidarity.  Ever since that day, I have met the most amazing people and witness greatness in humanity.  Also, after that teach-in, I offered my time to this cause in various ways but my first act of Idle No More was I donated my time to purchase the domains & websites and created the website, with the administrative assistance of one of the four founding woman of the Idle No More, Jessica Gordon. Ever since & (same website) went online December 4, 2012 we have had 460, 974 visitors and average of over 11.5 visitors per second. Here is a bit of my story as a Idle No More advocate, I am a elementary teacher at Frog Lake First Nations and all the reservations I mention in my story are within 150 - 300 KM north-east of Edmonton, AB. Edmonton is within Treaty #6 Territory and a territory that is 100% impacted by environmental attacks. I will do my best to explain myself clearly.

Here is a brief story:

BILL C-45 Effects (only a few of many):


As a former Traditional Use contractor within the Treaty # 6 Territory under the former Tribal Chiefs Peacekeeping Conversation Commission, we understood that many First Nations Reserves and Metis Settlements are within the two largest Oil Sands Pools in Alberta (in Canada) & part of Saskatchewan (Fort MacMurray & Cold Lake Oil Sands). We also knew that many oil companies wanted direct access to all but due to First Nations Treaties etc..they were having a hard time accessing because the Treaty reservations required them to consult & this was a HUGE INCONVENIENCE for them, they totally hated the idea, I know because I have sat with the Alberta Province who, at the time, were & still are the go between for Oil Industry. With the passing of Bill C-45, they can now go in and take what ever they want "for the benefit of all Canadians". This is only one of many scary results of this bill.


Also, over 2.5 Million lakes & water ways were protected, now only 84 lakes are, this means, oil companies can now take all the water they want without consultation and protection. I ask you which 84 lakes are protected???? Are they lakes in front of the shareholders mansions?????

I live in Kehewin Cree Nation and the Kehewin Lake is one of the largest water basins in the region and also in the middle of the largest Cold Lake Oil Sands. Ever since Anadarko (US Company) did seismic testing on top of Moose Mountain, it disturbed the underground fresh water supply and the community of Kehewin has been under Boil Water Advisory since 2005. In addition, this lake is the only water supply for the whole community. Many people have been sick & my family have been dealing with skin rashes etc.. ever since.

Then, there are the cases of cancer, which are higher near oil & gas exploration. I for one have a lot of family who have passed away & my mother is currently living with two types of cancer. I really don’t know anyone who has not been impacted by this epidemic.

Furthermore, oil companies need 2.5 barrels of water to get 1 barrel of oil out of the ground, this means that the total amount of fresh water is in direct competition with all Canadians as we need the fresh water to LIVE...who do you think should live?????

Also, 70% of all wetlands in Canada have also been destroyed due to so called "progression" & oil exploration... these wetlands are detrimental to the world as are the Rain Forests. Canada's wetlands & Boreal forest filter water, help prevent droughts, their vegetation help clean our air & produce oxygen, supply many of the medicinal plants, & more etc.. see ducks unlimited for more information or visit a website I created with my former grade 5 children on the effects of Wetlands on the World ( or

PS: there is only 3% of fresh water in the world & we are competing with Industry for our water supply

We all have our own stories & experiences but one thing I know for sure, we are ALL affected...after all we ALL need WATER, AIR (OXYGEN), & LAND (plants, food etc.) to SURVIVE...& this BILL C-45 puts our LIVES IN DANGER...

Now I ask you to look or hold your child(ren), grand(ren), & all loved ones and ask yourself, when I am gone from this earth, what will I leave behind....

WE ARE #IDLENOMORE ...TELL YOUR STORY...never stop until this BILL & its' counterparts (seven more bills) are ERADICATED & all that Idle No More stands for are achieved & realized...NOW TAKE A DEEP BREATH...feel that air, are you willing to give it up?

Canadian Treaties are ONE STRONG TOOL TO PROTECT THESE LANDS & WATERS FOR ALL CANADIANS. As a treaty person, I have a right to hunt, gather, forage, and conduct my cultural ways; however, I need an environment to do so. Once the environment is damaged, my treaty right has been infringed (to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress) on. This infringement also affects all Canadians on the other side of the treaty agreement because they too need the water, land etc. to LIVE)...Treaties protect all people & the world because the effects of Canada affect all world Water, Air, Land etc...we are all CONNECTED! 

Twitter: #idlenomore

I am Shannon M Houle, a proud & strong Cree & Dene woman, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, & spouse of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation #125 & Whitefish First Nation #128 & connected to my mother's tribe of Cold Lake First Nations. I am "Idle NO More"!

Shannon M Houle
@smhoule twitter