and the Remaking of Canada
ISBN: 978-0-88977-342-4
Year: 2015
Pages: 204
Binding: Paperback

In stores MARCH 2015.

Idle No More bewildered many Canadians. Launched by four women in Saskatchewan in reaction to a federal omnibus budget bill, the protest became the most powerful demonstration of Aboriginal identity in Canadian history. Thousands of Aboriginal people and their supporters took to the streets, shopping malls, and other venues, drumming, dancing, and singing in a collective voice.

It was a protest against generations of injustice, a rallying cry for cultural survival, and a reassertion of Aboriginal identity.

Idle No More lasted for almost a year, and then the rallies dissipated. Many observers described it as a spent force. It was anything but. Idle No More was the most profound declaration of Indigenous identity and confidence in Canadian history, sparked by Aboriginal women and their supporters, sustained by young Indigenous peoples, filled with pride and determination. When the drums slowed, a new and different Canada was left in its wake. Partially stunned by the peaceful celebrations, but perplexed by a movement that seemed to have no centre and no leaders, most Canadians missed the point.

Through Idle No More Aboriginal people have declared that they are a vital and necessary part of Canada's future. The spirit of the drumming, singing, and dancing lives on in empowered and confident young Aboriginal people who will shape the future of this country for decades to come.



PREFACE   Quiet No More   IX

ONE   Mobilizing an Awakening   1

TWO   The Roots of Aboriginal Anger and Hope   23

THREE   The Round Dance Revolution   45

FOUR   The Ottawa Distraction and the Complicated Evolution of Idle No More   77

FIVE   The Winter of the Discontented   111

SIX   What Happened to Sovereignty Summer?   137

SEVEN   Idle No More and the Technologies of Mass Mobilization   163



NOTES   205

INDEX   225


Ken Coates

Ken Coates is the author and editor of more than two dozen books, including #IdleNoMore and the Remaking of Canada, The Marshall Decision and Aboriginal Rights in the Maritimes and Land of the Midnight Sun: A History of the Yukon. Raised in Whitehorse, he is the Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. He is a regular guest on radio and television and a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines across the country.
"An important book for allies."
Angela Semple, Transmotion Journal
"Coates...offers a personal reflection on the latest reminder of Canada's troubled colonial legacy."
Matthew Behrens, Quill and Quire
"Coates identifies issues that have kept Aboriginal people angry and frustrated and lays an explanatory framework for the events of 2012."
Christine Smith (McFarlane), Anishinabek News
"Coates argues that the basic assertion of #IdleNoMore as aboriginal people engaging with their identity and feeling empowered to be a part of the future of Canada was a success in its own right."
Denise Hansen, THIS Magazine
"This jargon-free, well-written, compelling, and stimulating book makes a significant contribution to Aboriginal studies, public policy, and social change."
"Coates' #IdleNoMore is a worthy guide, a much-needed testament, to this movement's brief, but powerful, moment."
The Creative Industries Transition Fund is made possible through funding that was provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.