British Columbia

Idle No More protest movement hits B.C.

The Idle No More movement — a series of grassroots First Nations protests against bills passed by the federal government — has spread to B.C.

RAW: Idle No More protest in Victoria

11 years ago
Duration 0:53
Cowichan and Duncan councillor Joe Thorne explains why he is at Bay Centre mall rally

The Idle No More movement — a series of grassroots First Nations protests against bills passed by the federal government — has spread to B.C.

At rallies in communities across the country, demonstrators have protested the federal government’s omnibus budget bill.

In Fort St. John, a protest slated for Friday will draw attention to how changes to environmental legislation could affect rivers and lakes.

Hundreds of people attended an Idle No More protest in Penticton on Friday. (Brady Strachan/CBC)

"As First Nations people, we have a duty to protect the land and the waters, and the land for future generations," rally organizer Helen Knott told CBC News.

She says the Idle No More movement aims to send a message to Ottawa.

"We're not going to take this anymore," Knott said. "We're not going to have you impose legislation upon us that affects our treaties, our lands, our waters, without us having a say."

She says it’s an issue that should concern everyone.

"This isn't just affecting us, especially living in the north where this is an oil and gas industry town, this affects a lot of people," Knott said.

"It's not just about treaty rights. That is one of the main focuses, but it's something that is everybody else's problem."

Protestors plan to march to Conservative MP Bob Zimmer's office in Fort St. John at noon.

Idle No More rallies are also planned for Kamloops, Penticton, Vancouver, and Victoria.