Social media gives traction to Idle No More
A Winnipeg social media expert credits Facebook and Twitter with helping the Idle No More movement gain momentum.
The grassroots movement is aimed at raising awareness and protesting the federal government's omnibus budget Bill C-45, which First Nations people say violates their treaty rights.
The bill proposes significant changes to the federal Indian Act, including to land management on reserves that would make it easier for the federal government to control reserve land.
Last week, 13 Idle No More rallies took place across the country, including in Winnipeg.
Another rally is planned for midday Friday at The Forks and the Manitoba legislature. As well, aboriginal leaders are holding a rally that morning at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.
Nigaanwewidam James Sinclair, who teaches at the University of Manitoba, said social media has enabled the movement "to mobilize people very quickly and create buzz — this movement is hip, it’s cool, it's cool to be resistant."
"The increasing activism online is very accessible, easy, and it can reach people who wouldn't otherwise be politically engaged," he added.