Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Five hundred and twenty-one years ago Christopher Columbus showed up in the Americas and it has been a war and a revolution ever since.  The war is by patriarchal capitalism against the indigenous people and against the land and water and all of nature as well.  The revolution has been fought constantly by the indigenous Americans on behalf of themselves and the Earth has gone on ever since.

It all continues today.

The following post is all about that and I have borrowed it from

A revolution began when Columbus set sail
The following opinion by Andrea Landry appears in the latest issue of the Native Sun News. All content © Native Sun News.

The revolution began when Columbus set sail
By Andrea Landry

We stand in solidarity with our land, our waters, and our traditional knowledge. We stand together to give voice to those who have passed on before us. We stand to acknowledge the work that we must complete in order for our future generations to survive culturally, linguistically, and most importantly sovereignly, as Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island.

Indigenous women are gaining momentum in the Indigenization of colonial realms, deconstructing the Doctrine of Discovery, a piece of international law passed through in 1823, which stated that lands are in the hands of the government who have explored and colonized a territory.

This doctrine has led to the raping of mother-earth and the invalidation of Indigenous sovereign rights over traditional territories and livelihoods. Yet, we now see a resurgence; the battling the Doctrine of Discovery with words as weapons and truth as shields.

Indigenous women and younger generations are reiterating the importance of the protection of our traditional territories, livelihoods, and linguistic sovereignty. With this, they are challenging Doctrines and Declarations that have impeded on our rights for generations.

This abuse of the land goes hand in hand with violence against Indigenous women. By saying that it is okay to rape and pillage our traditional territories for all she is worth, we are saying it is okay to do the same within our communities.

These processes neglect our seven grandfather teachings of wisdom, respect, love, humility, truth, bravery and honesty. The teachings we are to bring to life with our relationships to one another, to our land, and to the animals are being neglected by the force of mining companies, oil pipe-lines, and the desecration of our lands.

This is where the change comes. Informing and educating others on the importance of implementing our sovereign rights, by practicing our freedom of speech, and by Indigenizing and decolonizing the systems that have been forced upon our minds, bodies, and spirits since the process of colonialism became normalized on the lands of Turtle Island. The change of viewing violence against our traditional land bases as economic development and full of opportunity into a view of this deconstruction developing notions of violence against Indigenous women as okay. The more we lose pieces of our mother earth, the more we lose our livelihoods, our languages, and our territories.

Idle No More, the Indigenous rights movement has carried on the voices of revolutionary change-makers since colonization has begun its process on Turtle Island. The voices of leaders such as Haudenosaunee Chief Deskaheh, Tecumseh, Ellen Gabriel, Elijah Harper, and many others have, and are, continuously passing on balancing between traditional knowledge and ensuring our future generations have a brighter future.
Women are explaining how it all relates to the epidemics in our communities. Men are taking a stand on ending violence against women. Young people are speaking about how they need clean drinking water rather than a mine for dollars within their communities. And the ancestors are honoured that the teachings are alive and well.

The reality is, Idle No More can be viewed as a shift, an awakening. But this awakening has been happening since Columbus set sail and landed on Turtle Island. The battle for our sovereign rights, for the free, prior, and informed consent over the body of Mother Earth, and for the voices of all generations to be heard in order for a future of our lands, our peoples, and our livelihood.

Idle No More may have shifted the energy to allow communities to come together, for voices to overcome governmental constraints, and for media to view the story in the same way it always views Indigenous revolutions, but the reality is – Indigenous Peoples have been battling for sovereignty since the Doctrine of Discovery slathered its consumerism and capitalism over traditional territories for land enslavement.

Idle No More reopened the battle that occurs in the League of Nations (now known as the United Nations,) that occurs on traditional territories across Turtle Island. This revolution is not new; it is recharged energy that carries the spirits of our ancestors and the voices of our future.

So here we stand, in solidarity to ensure that this battle ends - that our mother earth is no longer beaten, neglected, raped, and left for dead; that our young women will not be left voiceless as they go missing in the cities; that our young men no longer consume lies and poison, and that our ancestors will stand behind us and say “miigwech for carrying our message on.”

Andrea Landry is an Anishinaabe woman from Pays Plat First Nation in Ontario, Canada. She is currently completing her Masters of Communications and Social Justice at the University of Windsor and is highly involved in the realm of activism for Indigenous rights on an International Scale.

Editor’s note: This is part 3 of our Native Women Columnist series.
Copyright permission by Native Sun News

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