- Naomi Klein comments on what we should take from the Idle No More movement:
Chief Spence’s hunger is not just speaking to Mr. Harper. It is also speaking to all of us, telling us that the time for bitching and moaning is over. Now is the time to act, to stand strong and unbending for the people, places and principles that we love.- And Chelsea Vowel highlights the dire straits facing Canadian First Nations which have necessitated the kind of action we're now seeing.
This message is a potent gift. So is the Idle No More movement – its name at once a firm commitment to the future, while at the same time a gentle self-criticism of the past. We did sit idly by, but no more.
The greatest blessing of all, however, is indigenous sovereignty itself. It is the huge stretches of this country that have never been ceded by war or treaty. It is the treaties signed and still recognized by our courts. If Canadians have a chance of stopping Mr. Harper’s planet-trashing plans, it will be because these legally binding rights – backed up by mass movements, court challenges, and direct action will stand in his way. All Canadians should offer our deepest thanks that our indigenous brothers and sisters have protected their land rights for all these generations, refusing to turn them into one-off payments, no matter how badly they were needed. These are the rights Mr. Harper is trying to extinguish now.
During this season of light and magic, something truly magical is spreading. There are round dances by the dollar stores. There are drums drowning out muzak in shopping malls. There are eagle feathers upstaging the fake Santas. The people whose land our founders stole and whose culture they tried to stamp out are rising up, hungry for justice. Canada’s roots are showing. And these roots will make us all stand stronger.
- Jane Miller laments how far too many people have been trained to sneer at the poor. But Jason DeParle notes that the education system which is supposed to give students of all backgrounds a chance to succeed is in fact serving largely to exacerbate existing inequality.
- Finally, David Climenhaga and Ian Welsh both argue that it's long past time to discuss genuinely Christian values at Christmas - with a heavy emphasis on the admonition that "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me".