Written by Denise Deby.

South March Highlands - Beaver Pond - D. Deby photo

The holiday season means a lot to me. It’s a time for family, friends, warmth, comfort and joy. At its best, it’s a time of delight, wonder and magic.

It’s also an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate what’s important. So I’ve been mulling over possible topics for a post, like positive stories from this year, or how to shop less and support more handmade, fair-trade and gifts of time. But what’s inspired me is something that’s happened in the last couple of weeks: the #IdleNoMore movement.

Idle No More started as a call by four women in Saskatchewan for Canada to respect Indigenous sovereignty, in the face of the federal government’s Bill C-45 which weakens protection of lakes and rivers and changes land management on reserves. Its message has broadened and spread, through social media, “flash mob” Round Dances in public places, rallies, and people from all walks of life who are sharing the information.

In Ottawa, hundreds of people came out on December 21 to Victoria Island on the Ottawa River, where Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is on a hunger strike to press the Canadian government to meet with Indigenous leaders.

As an inclusive grassroots movement, Idle No More calls on people whether Indigenous or not to come together to protect the environment and the rights of future generations. It calls on us to respect our obligations, treat each other with dignity, and require our governments to be accountable. It’s also about people speaking out to protect rivers, forests, green spaces and many of the other things I’ve blogged about on Green Living Ottawa in the past year and more.

Supporting it seems like a fitting way to celebrate what’s important this season.

For more information and updates on Idle No More, see http://idlenomore1.blogspot.ca/.

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