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? 

Resistance Movements Timeline



Arnaquq-Baril, A. (2016). Angry Inuk.  National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.nfb.ca/film/angry_inuk/

Assembly of First Nations. (n.d.). About AFN. Retrieved from http://www.afn.ca/description-of-the-afn/

Barrier Lake Solidarity. (n.d.). Current context. Retrieved from http://www.barrierelakesolidarity.org/2008/03/mission.html

CBC News. (2017, May 17). Indigenous leaders sign opposition to Keystone XL in Calgary. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/transcanada-keystone-calgary-indigenous-1.4119301

Commanda, E. (2016, May 4). Angry Inuk: Why is the seal skin ban wrong? Muskrat Magazine. Retrieved from http://muskratmagazine.com/angry-inuk-why- is-the-seal-skin-ban-wrong/

Defenders of the Land. (n.d.). Who we are. Retrieved from http://www.defendersoftheland.org/about

Diebel, L. (2016, March 27). Cindy Blackstock, single mom to 163,000 kids. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/03/27/cindy-blackstock-single-mom-to-163000-kids.html

Drees, L. M. (2003). The Indian Association of Alberta, a history of political action. British Columbia: UBC Press.

Dyck, N., & Sadik, T. (2011). Indigenous Peoples: Political organization and activism. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginal-people-political-organization-and-activism/

Families of Sisters in Spirit. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/fsismmiwg2s/about/?ref=page_internal

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. (n.d.). FSIN mission. Retrieved from http://www.fsin.com/

Filice, M. (2016). Haldimand Proclamation. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/haldimand- proclamation/

Foster, K. (2013, February-March). Thunder on the prairie. Canada’s History Magazine.

Gignac, J. (2017). Bitter land dispute results in blockade on Six Nations in Caledonia. The Toronto Star. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/08/30/bitter-land-dispute-results-in-blockade-on-six-nations-in-caledonia.html

Hill, G. (2017). Ipperwash Crisis in 5 Minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtFPSmyDCdA

Hill, G. (2015a). The Oka Crisis in 5 Minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArOIdwcj2w8

Hill, G. (2015b). Gustafsen Lake Standoff in Five Minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PynWtpqgyJ8

Horn-Miller, W. (2015, September 25). Waneek Horn-Miller remembers Oka [Interview]. The National: CBC News. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgYtF32ml5Q

Howorun, C. (2017, August 15). Ipperwash community 22 years after deadly standoff [News clip]. CityNews Toronto. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKa8n32EGno

Idle No More. (n.d.). UNsettling 150: A Call to Action. Retrieved from http://www.idlenomore.ca/unsettling_150_a_call_to_action

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). (1998, October 3). Background to the Grand River Notification Agreement [PDF]. Retrieved from https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwj1- diTubLaAhUo7IMKHX_QAcYQFghFMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ubcm.ca%2Fassets%2Flibrary%2FPolicy~Topics%2FFirst~Nations~Relations%2FFirst~ Nations~Relations~Archive%2FAgreements%2FGrand%2520River%2520Notification%2520Agreement%2520backgrounder%25201998.pdf&usg=AOvVa w0VZxblxLrM87MI1A-46neD

Indigenous Environmental Network. (2017). About. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/ienearth/about/?ref=page_internal

Indigenous leaders sign opposition to Keystone XL in Calgary. (2017, May 17). CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/transcanada-keystone-calgary-indigenous-1.4119301

Indigenous Nationhood Movement (INM). (2015). About. Retrieved from http://nationsrising.org/

Jaenen, J. C. (2008). Jean de Brébeuf. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/jean-de-brebeuf/

Royal Proclamation, 1763. (2009). In Indigenous Foundations [Website]. University of British Columbia: First Nations Studies Program. Retrieved from http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/royal_proclamation_1763/

Ruters, C. S. (2007). Poverty the focus of Canada-wide native protests. Canada.com. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20071216082723/http://www.canada.com:80/topics/news/national/story.html?id=bd61f2dd-0a80-4fc9-af3f- 01698fb6e099&k=90824

Know B.C. (2017). Allied Indian Tribes of BC. In Encyclopedia of B.C. Retrieved from http://knowbc.com/limited/Books/Encyclopedia-of-BC/A/Allied-Indian-Tribes-of-BC

Library and Archives Canada. (2005). Introduction: The League of Indians of Canada [Archived essay]. Retrieved from http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/008/001/008001-5000- e.php?&e=1&brws=1&st=Aboriginal%20Documentary%20Heritage:%20Historical%20Collections%20of%20the%20Canadian%20Government&ts_nbr=4&

Manitoba Historical Society. (1995). Red River Resistance. Manitoba History, 29. Retrieved from http://www.mhs.mb.ca/docs/mb_history/29/redriverresistance.shtml

Marsh, J. H. (2011). Tecumseh. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/tecumseh/

McAdam, D. (1983). Tactical innovation and the pace of insurgency. American Sociological Review, 48, 735-754. doi:10.2307/2095322

McLaughlin, E. C., & Simon, D. (2017, January 25). Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines: How did we get here? Cable News Network (CNN). Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/01/24/us/dapl-keystone-pipeline-environment-protesters-trump-order/index.html

Meyer, R. (2017, June 9). Oil is flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/06/oil-is-flowing-through-the-dakota-access-pipeline/529707/

Muskrat Magazine. (2013, June 14). Indigenous Peoples resistance timeline. Muskrat Magazine. Retrieved from http://muskratmagazine.com/indigenous-peoples-resistance-timeline/

Perkins, A. (2014, January 7). Declare yourself #IdleNoMore. People’s World. Retrieved from http:// peoplesworld.org/declare-yourself-idlenomore/

Sacred Stone Camp. (n.d.). Camp of the Sacred Stones. Retrieved from http://sacredstonecamp.org/about/

Salinas, E.J., & Wittstock, L. W. (n.d.). A brief history of the American Indian Movement. American Indian Movement. Retrieved from https://www.aimovement.org/ggc/history.html

Shrubsole, N. (2011). The Sun Dance and the Gustafsen Lake Standoff: Healing through resistance and the danger of dismissing religion. The International Indigenous Policy Journal, 2(4), 1-19. Doi: 10.18584/iipj.2011.2.4.3.

Smith, D. (2013). War Measures Act. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/war-measures- act/

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. (2017). History. Stand With Standing Rock [Website]. Retrieved from http://standwithstandingrock.net/history/

Swift, A., Casey-Lefkowitz, S., & Shope, E. (2011). Tar Sands Pipeline Safety Risks [PDF]. National Resources Defense Council. Retrieved 12 December 2017.

Tagaq, T. (2016). “I’m going to tell you a fact.” Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/tanyatagaq/posts/10153310569072563

The White Paper, 1969. (2009). In Indigenous Foundations. University of British Columbia: First Nations Studies Program. Retrieved from http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/the_white_paper_1969/

Unist’ot’en Camp. (2017). Unist’ot’en Camp, Heal the People, Heal the Land [Website]. Retrieved from http://unistoten.camp/about/location/

Vandecasteyen, R. (1931). Native Brotherhood of British Columbia formed. Native Brotherhood of British Columbia [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.ubcic.bc.ca/native_brotherhood_of_british_columbia_formed

Zimmer, D. (2018). Six Nations of the Grand River. Ontario.ca [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.ontario.ca/page/six-nations-grand-river#section-1

Wood, L. J. (2015). Idle No More, Facebook and Diffusion. Social Movement Studies, 14 (5), 615-621



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