Farnell Morisset (Life in Québec): For those who don’t know Idle No More or what it is yet, can you essentially summarize?
Isabelle Gros-Louis (Idle No More): Idle No More is, fundamentally, a movement which touches all First Nations of Canada and even some in the United States. We’re rising up to mobilise together to denounce Bill C-45. What we want is the abolition of this bill and we’re asking for consultation and respect of our constitutional rights. That’s very important, the respect of our constitutional rights.
Morisset: What is it about Bill C-45 that you object to?
Gros-Louis: Our lands would be much more easily sold. Our constitutional rights are touched on many levels, like when we’re talking about selling our lands more easily. It modifies the Indian Act without our consent. The federal government brings fundamental changes to it without our authorisation. We’re asking for consultation and for the abolition of Bill C-45.
Morisset: Your hopes with demonstrations like today, what are they?
Gros-Louis: Personally – I’ll give my own heart’s hopes – I’d like people to see the true reality of Aboriginals. I’d like people to open their eyes. This is an Aboriginal outcry for people to see the true story of Aboriginals. It’s certain that people have preconceived notions regarding taxes and so on, but people don’t know that we were placed on reserves, that it had terrible impacts on First Nations, about boarding schools and the sexual abuse that was lived there. Today we’re a people trying to rise from that. I think there are many people with prejudices, but I think those come from ignorance.
Morisset: Your hopes for the future, in this case, what would they be?
Gros-Louis: It would be, first of all, the abolition of Bill C-45, and secondly, that people see us with open eyes, and see reality.