Idle No More at Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address: Mohawk Nation Drummers from Akwesasne assert their rights. This year, authorities ruled that no drumming would be allowed in the concourse under the state capitol in Albany during the governor’s state of the state address. That memo never reached members of the Mohawk Nation who came to Albany to add a first nations perspective to the call for a ban on fracking. The problem for the police is that this rule took no account of the religious and culture centrality of the drum to native peoples, nor the implicit understand of this on the part of supporters who instantly rallied. It was inspiring. Chants of “let them go” changed to “let them drum”. As first nation peoples struggle to assert both their autonomy as nations and fulfill a wider role as protector of mother earth for all her inhabitants, the attempt to impose a prohibition against drumming echos this larger struggle, particularly in Canada, where the Elsipogtog Resistance to Shale Gas Development on native lands in New Brunswick has garnered international attention. Before the drumming stars, ShaleshockMedia asked two of the Idle No More contingent from Akwesasne about the current situation in Canada.
For a truly excellent video documentary of the resistance to Southwest Energy’s compact with the Provence of New Brunswick to exploit native lands without prior consultation, see “Fault Lines: Elsipogtog, The Fire Over Water” that was broadcast on Aljazeera English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWoRw_fYEGo
Also, I have a page on shaleshockmedia.org with some embedded video by MsNativeWarrior and some background articles: http://www.shaleshockmedia.org/2013/10/22/elsipogtog-frack-off/.
As well, here is a report from a Christian Peace Maker volunteer upon his return home from a support role: http://www.shaleshockmedia.org/2013/10/30/elsipogtog-resistance-to-shale-gas-development-report-by-sam-koplinka-loehr-cpt/