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Canada’s aboriginal protest movement explodes

Last month a protest movement exploded across Canada, but little has been made of it by the media below the border. The reason for this, perhaps, is that the issues underpinning the movement are  -- quite literally -- indigenous to Canada.

Under the banner Idle No More, thousands of Canada's aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and their allies have staged mass demonstrations in cities and towns all around the country in protest of the abusive treatment of indigenous people in Canada by the Canadian government. Mass marches have peacefully taken over the streets in Ottawa, while Round Dance flashmobs (nodding to both traditional indigenous dances and social media-fueled protest practices of late) have popped in around Canada and even in a handful of U.S. citiesin solidarity.

Bold protest stunts have involved blockading some of Canada's major railway lines. Galvanizing a huge amount of attention to the issue is Chief Theresa Spence, the leader of the small Ontario Attawapiskat band, who is now 23 days into a hunger strike on Ottawa's Victoria Island, just across from the Canadian parliament, and who is demanding a dialogue between Canadian parliamentary leaders and aboriginal representatives.

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