3 Resistance Movements

Resistance carries promise. A single voice within a movement may echo across hundreds of generations, and opposition in its most compelling forms can lead to lasting change. For Indigenous Peoples in Canada, resistance to colonization, assimilation, and the destruction of Turtle Island is a part of the fabric of their cultural identity. Many Canadians, when learning about the destructive colonial history of Canada, ask, “Why did Indigenous Peoples not fight back?” This chapter attempts to explore this question by sharing a few of the many ways Indigenous Peoples did, and continue to, fight back. They fight back every day against people, industries, and policies that perpetuate systemic discrimination and threaten their land, their way of life, their relations, and their belief systems. 

The following timeline, while extensive in scope, is in no way complete; there are more examples of resistance than could be contained in a single book. What you will find below are examples of movements, people, legislation, grassroots initiatives, and technology that have been a part of work to protect Turtle Island for hundreds of years. Some of the events and organizations may be unfamiliar; however, these examples have led to or fuelled lasting and profound change in the relationship between Indigenous Peoples, non-Indigenous people, and the Canadian government on Turtle Island. You are asked to take particular notice of the discussion around the Ipperwash Crisis, the Oka Crisis, the Keystone XL pipeline, and Idle No More. As you explore these events, consider what you believe to be the contributing factors that led to the crisis point. What changes happened in the years that followed? You are also asked to consider the role that technology has played in some of the more recent resistance movements. Specifically, how has technology altered the scope and impact of resistance movements today? Do you believe technology, especially social media, to be an agent of positive change in this framework? How might social media, or media in general, create challenges for Indigenous Peoples? 

 

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