Idle No More supporters hold candlelight vigil

Justin Crann
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Idle No More supporters and participants gathered Jan. 1 to hold a candlelight vigil in support with hunger striking Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence.

Moose Jaw supporters of the national Idle No More movement held a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening to express solidarity with Chief Theresa Spence, whose hunger strike incited the movement.

Spence, who is Chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario, began her hunger strike on Dec. 11, demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the state of living and legislation affecting Canada's aboriginal people.

“We wanted to get together and show some support for her while she does her hunger strike in Ottawa,” said Isabelle Hanson, who organized the event. “We had speakers, a drum group and an environmentalist who came and talked.”

The vigil was a follow-up to a march and rally held in late December, also in support of the Idle No More campaign, Hanson said. It was attended by about 40 people.

“It was a small group, but it was good given that it was held on Jan. 1, and a lot of people would have had family gatherings and that sort of function,” she said. “A lot of young people showed up, and that was really encouraging.”

Moose Jaw’s Idle No More participants aren’t done in the Friendly City yet, added Hanson.

“One of the things we’d like to do is get one of the founders (of Idle No More) to come and do some teaching about it,” she said, expressing her hope that organizers could come to “just explain what Idle No More is, its purpose, the legislations that we’re opposing, and so forth.”

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Northern Ontario, Canada Ottawa Friendly

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