Inspired by the ambition of a young woman, hundreds of people marched through downtown La Ronge on Friday to break their silence and be heard.
In opposition of Bill C-45, which was passed by the Senate on Friday, thousands of people across the country have been rallying the government to prevent the bill from becoming law. After seeing a lack of action in her own community, Ocean Morin, 18, felt compelled to organize an Idle No More event and educate others on the bill.
“I’ve always wondered why nobody ever did anything here. On Monday I was talking to my mom and she said, “Well why don’t you do something about it,” so I did,” Morin said.
On Monday, Dec. 10, Morin created an event on the social media site Facebook, asking her friends to join her on Friday for a rally. Within a day, hundreds of people had joined her cause and were willing to march with her to oppose Bill C-45.
“I was majorly inspired by Ocean’s courage to put this whole thing together in the face of all that’s going on right now,” said one person on Morin’s Facebook event page. “Wow, Ocean. You’re an amazing person,” said another.
The huge turnout on Friday was something that Morin wasn’t expecting. She said she was nervous because she didn’t know who was going to show up and who wasn’t. But as noon approached on Friday it was clear her message was heard and the community was going to be with her.
The rally began at the Lac La Ronge Indian Band office and was attended by the chief and council, as well as Doyle Vermette, the MLA for La Ronge.
“The power is with you, the people. You’re the ones that we get our power from, you’re the ones that put us here to fight for our rights,” said Chief Tammy Cook-Searson to those who attended the rally. “It is clear that this legislation benefits corporations involved with oil, pipelines, and nuclear energy, without due attention and consideration of the impact it will have on our land and environment.”
Vermette also addressed the crowd and congratulated all of the young people who had come to make a difference.
“There are more than 200 changes that are coming in that are quiet. Lay, sleep, be quiet, be silent while we pass this is what Harper’s government is saying. And we’re saying “No,” and the youth are saying, “No, we won’t stand for it,” and I’m giving so much support to the youth. Way to go!”
Among the people who attended the rally was Kara Schneider-Ross, a Grade 7 teacher who brought her students along with her. She said because all her students were treaty, the rally was something she didn’t want them to miss out on.
“We made posters this morning and watched videos on Youtube of all the protests happening across Canada,” said Schneider-Ross. “I gave them the rundown on Bill C-45 and what they can expect if it goes through.”
Natanis Kinch, 25, was also at the rally because she felt she could “no longer sit back and just let things happen.”
“They should consult us with whatever they want to do. They say that they are there for us, but they should be consulting with us,” said Kinch.
Overshadowing the rally on Friday, the Canadian senate passed Bill C-45, which is now set to become law. Morin said she is concerned about the changes and what affect it will have on future generations.
“As a child our parents, grandparents, elders and our leaders all said our children are the future, but I have a strong belief that if this bill is passed, there will not be much of a future for future generations to come.”