Idle No More May Have Economic Impact on Canada

Idle No More has led to over 20 blockades of rail lines and roads, as well as traffic slow downs across the country, and the number may drastically increase in coming weeks.

On January 1, APTN reported that First Nations chiefs are contemplating a plan to set  “Jan. 16 as the day to launch a campaign of indefinite economic disruptions, including railway and highway blockades,” should Prime Minister Stephen Harper not agree to meet with First Nations for nation to nation talks, a demand laid out by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. Chief Spence is currently on the 23rd day of her hunger strike.

Blockades and traffic slow downs have already taken place in every province except for PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador. Several have been single day events but others – such as the railway blockade in Pointe-a-la-Croix New Brunswick, by people from the Listuguj First Nation, and a blockade in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, by members of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation – have carried on for longer periods.

An ongoing blockade of a logging road in Grassy Narrows started long before the Idle No More campaign began, and celebrated its tenth anniversary on Dec. 2, 2012.

In February 2012, CSIS documents acquired by researchers Jeffrey Monaghan and Kevin Walby, revealed that the almost 12 hour long blockades of a major railway and highway by members of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in 2007 led to $100 million in economic damages. The blockades took place on June 29 2007 and were part of a National Day of Action called for by the Assembly of First Nations.

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