Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Idle No More Lives On: Rifles vs. Songs

Last October in Rexton, a small eastern Canadian town on the Elsipogtog First Nation Reserve, over 100 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) wielding riot gear, side arms, tasers, tear gas, attack dogs, pepper spray, rubber bullets, nightsticks, and a variety of other weapons marched against a peaceful encampment of Mi’kmaq First Nation citizens and outside supporters. Among the chaos that ensued, RCMP Emergency Response Teams armed with assault weapons and dressed in military fatigues took aim upon the men, women, and children within the encampment along Route 134. Armed only with the power of song and eagle feathers, Native women formed a protective line against the ominous and threatening march of the armed police force. On this lone highway, First Nations women stood up against the combined assault of the RCMP and Southwestern Energy Company to defend their families, community, and ultimately their future. The RCMP had been requested by Southwestern Energy to service an injunction against protesters who formed a peaceful blockade around exploratory equipment to search for shale gas deposits. The Houston, Texas based company never consulted with the Mi’kmaq to gain their consent for exploratory testing or drilling on the Reserve. Yet, on Southwestern Energy’s public website they claim to be fulfilling the necessary steps toward drilling their first wells.



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