As the Idle No More movement continues to gain steam across Canada, the McMaster First Nations Students Association (MFNSA) hosted its own event in solidarity with the movement, hoping to address the many questions that have sprung up in the student body.
Students, staff and faculty filled up the seats in the MUSC Atrium, leaving others to stand and listen to the panel of professors discuss issues facing the indigenous peoples in Canada. The panel included Daniel Coleman (English and Cultural Studies), Vanessa Watts (Indigenous Studies), Jeffrey Denis (Sociology), Rick Monture (English and Cultural Studies) and Amber Dean (English and Cultural Studies).
The event was meant to share information on campus and to show solidarity with the expansive and still-growing Idle No More movement. The issues discussed ranged from violence against First Nations women to the limited number of Indigenous Studies faculty at McMaster. The panel discussion was followed by a round dance, which students were encouraged to join.
Christa Jonathan, MFNSA President, noted that there is a multitude of views on campus, and that the event aimed to “re-educate people in appropriate ways so that they know about the current issues indigenous peoples face, and to encourage students to learn more.”
To mark the National Day of Action on Jan. 28, MFNSA plans to hold a march on campus and potentially more teach-ins, as well as a flash mob round-dance.