Indigenous Nations all over the world have been occupied for centuries by settlers who push them off of their land and take resources without permission or respect for the land, water and air. After trying to use domestic and international approaches, including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, to regain legal sovereignty and failing, Indigenous Nations are rising up. We speak with Clayton Thomas Muller, Sylvia Mcadam and SuZanne MoniQue Patels of Idle No More about the movement, steps they are taking to protect the Earth and the October 7 Day to Proclaim Sovereignty. Today is the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation, also known as the Indians Magna Carta.
Relevant articles, books and websites:
Indigenous Nations Are at the Forefront of the Conflict With Transnational Corporate Power by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
Idle No More Calls For Mass Action On October 7, 2013 by Krystalline Kraus
VIDEO: Mi’kmaq Call For Oct 18th Solidarity Actions by SuZanne Patles
Clayton Thomas Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Clayton is the co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute as well as a volunteer organizer with the Defenders of the Land-Idle No More national campaign known as Sovereignty Summer.
Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement globally for energy and climate justice. He serves on the board of the Global Justice Ecology Project, Canadian based Raven Trust and Navajo Nation based, Black Mesa Water Coalition.
Clayton has traveled extensively domestically and internationally leading Indigenous delegations to lobby United Nations bodies including the UN framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Earth Summit (Johannesburg, South Africa 2002 and Rio +20, Brazil 2012) and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Clayton has coordinated and lead delegations of First Nations, Native American and Alaska Native elected and grassroots leadership to lobby government in Washington DC, USA, Ottawa, Canada, and European Union (Strasbourg and Brussels)
He has been recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero 2009” by Yes Magazine. For the last eleven years he has campaigned across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native and Native American communities in support of grassroots Indigenous Peoples to defend against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry. This has included a special focus on the sprawling infrastructure of pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the Canadian tar sands.
Clayton is an organizer, facilitator, public speaker and writer on environmental and economic justice. He has been published in multiple books, news papers and magazines and appeared countless times on local, regional, national and international television and radio as an expert advocate on Indigenous rights, environmental and economic justice . He has been a guest lecturer at universities, conferences and seminars around the world.
Sylvia Mcadam was born and raised on the Big River Reserve inTreaty Six Territory. She holds two degrees, in law and human justice; and currently teaches at the First Nations University. She is also the author of the 2009 book, “Cultural Teachings: First Nations Protocols & Methodologies” which provides a guide to appropriate traditional etiquette for individuals attending ceremonial activities of Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan.