Tulsa protest defends native culture and lands - ocolly.com : News

Tulsa protest defends native culture and lands

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Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:29 pm

TULSA - Protestors danced for sovereignty on Sunday.

Idle No More (INM), a grassroots organization of Native American and indigenous people who are defending their culture and sovereignty, met in Utica Square on Sunday to raise awareness for their cause.

They are facing the takeover of land in Canada by the energy company TransCanada. Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, Jessica Gordon & Sheelah McLean started INM to act against legislation in Canada, which they say threatens not only Native American land, but also the environment.

The amount of shoppers and automobile traffic who would witness the events of the protest provided the perfect setting. More than 100 protestors met and marched to a spot along 21st Street, where a spokeswoman, JoKay Dowell, a Quapaw, Cherokee and Peoria Native American, addressed issues INM are concerned with, followed by native dancing and drumming.

The most important point Dowell addressed to INM is Native Americans have a proud and powerful culture and they refuse to stand down to attacks on their land and culture.  Their fear of becoming an extinct culture is ever present, and they will always fight for awareness.  INM aims to build grassroots groups to defend themselves against attacks on Native land and to insure the continuation of their culture.

Dowell said the members of INM want to stop any legislation that negatively affects native culture.  All proposed legislation being targeted by INM is listed on their website, idlenomore.ca.  INM feels like any legislation is another hit to their culture, and Dowell mentioned this is not a new issue for Native American/Indigenous people.  It is an issue for them that dates back to the first settlers in the Americas.  INM represents a movement of Native American and indigenous people who refuse to stand by and see their culture disappear, she said.

For more information about Idle No More and the issues they support go to idlenomore.ca and search “Idle No More” and “JoKay Dowell” on Facebook.