Judith Sayers on #IdleNoMore: ‘A real need to join the people’

by Stephen Petrina on January 21, 2013

Globe and Mail, Rob Mickleburgh, January 21, 2013 — As a former chief of the Hupacasath First Nation, a past executive member of the First Nations Summit and currently a visiting professor of business and law at the University of Victoria, Judith Sayers has long been one of B.C.’s most prominent natives, with a reputation for seeking solutions over confrontation. But there she was last week, part of the Idle No More highway blockade near Victoria. Afterward, Ms. Sayers talked with The Globe and Mail about her support for the burgeoning movement, and her unhappiness with current native leadership.

How was the protest?

I didn’t plan to go, but I was checking Twitter and felt a real need to join the people. It’s such a good feeling to be with people of one mind, walking, hearing the drums and the singing, and just listening to people.

What brought you to Idle No More, which is very much outside the formal channels you’re used to?

Well, those formal channels aren’t getting us anywhere. I have always said we need leaders who are going to put our issues on the front page, make them election issues. None of us, including myself, have been able to do that. I see this movement able to do that. It’s amazing. Our people have never really taken this kind of initiative before. It’s across the ranks. All of the issues have come to a boiling point.

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