It was wonderful to see the “Idle No More — Clean Energy Now” poster featured so prominently on the front page of The Santa Fe New Mexican on Jan. 6. The poster was created by Hope Neidhardt, a 16-year-old Navajo/Taos Pueblo student at St. Michael’s High School and proudly, my daughter. Hope got the design from a Canadian First Nations artist, Andy Everson, from the Comox Band. Andy gave permission to use his design while Hope attended school in Courtenay, British Columbia, in 2013.
The movement, Idle No More, “began with four ladies; Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon and Sheelah McLean, who felt it was urgent to act on current and upcoming legislation that not only affects our First Nations people but the rest of Canada’s citizens, lands and waters. — These four women from Saskatchewan (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) decided that they would no longer stay silent,” according to the website, www.idlenomore.ca.
The movement spread quickly through First Nations people in Canada and then to Natives in the United States. The focus of Idle No More has evolved to include environmental issues, climate change and human rights.