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"Idle No More fast continued at Hamilton city hall through storm"
Turtle Island News, 13 Feb 2013
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Idle No More fast continued at Hamilton city hall through storm
By Donna Duric, Writer

HAMILTON - Although Idle No More seems to be quieting down, one Mohawk man from Hamilton took it upon himself to keep the momentum going.

He Carries the Strength of Two Buffalo, as he's known, completed a four-day fast Tuesday afternoon with a drumming ceremony on the front lawn of Hamilton City Hall where he had pitched a teepee and consumed only liquids during the endeavor. Amid frigid temperatures and the worst blizzard to hit Hamilton in years, Strength and his supporters set up a teepee just as last Friday's monster snow storm began closing in on the city.

Strength said the peaceful fast was meant to educate people about Idle No More in a non-confrontational way.

"I found out about what Harper was doing and all the damage that's going on and I was like, what am I going to do? I noticed people started getting angry with the people trying to get the message across with stopping trains and stopping this and that. They were putting people out to try to get the message across but, the people that are being put out are only coming away with anger. I want them to understand this is about them, too (non-natives)."

The idea, which he said was in conjunction with Idle No More, came to him three weeks ago in a vision while he was standing on his front porch.

"When I thought of fasting, at that moment I saw a wall of ancestors walking towards me. That's when I decided to do this four-day fast."

Hamilton Police were cooperative and accommodating by providing him with a direct phone line to contact them if he was harassed, he said.

The four-day fast remained peaceful, with no taunts or harassment from anyone, said Strength.

He had spoken with City Hall officials, including Mayor Bob Bratina, who he said supported the action.

"We let them know what we were doing. They were perfectly fine with it."

He greeted a steady stream of visitors during the fast, including various members from all sectors of Hamilton's faith community. Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith leaders came by and offered words of support, prayers and encouragement throughout the fast.

"It's been an awesome turnout. This area has been constantly full, always movement, always conversation."

Strength drank only cedar tea and other medicinal liquids during the endeavor.

Strength has participated in many Idle No More rallies and flash mobs throughout the area in the past two months. He drummed at a flash mob and march during the January Art Crawl on James St. North in Hamilton, and he also drummed at a rally at the Cayuga courthouse last month.

Strength said to him, the Idle No More movement is about the environment and wildlife, which he believes will be harmed with the Conservatives' passing of legislation that strips away protection of Canadian rivers, lakes and waterways. He said he hoped that message was delivered in the peaceful way he intended during the four-day fast.

"The message that I've always grown up with is to do no harm. When you can do no harm there's no way for someone to be upset and the message can get across."

Duric, Donna, Author
Media Type
Item Type
Turtle Island News
Place of Publication
Six Nations of the Grand River, ON
Date of Publication
13 Feb 2013
Date Of Event
12 Feb 2013
Personal Name(s)
He Carries the Strength of Two Buffalo ; Bratina, Bob.
Local identifier
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.23341 Longitude: -79.94964
Creative Commons licence
by-nc-nd [more details]
Copyright Statement
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian law. No restrictions on use.
Copyright Date
Copyright Holder
Turtle Island News
Six Nations Public Library
Agency street/mail address:
1679 Chiefswood Rd
PO Box 149
Ohsweken, ON N0A 1M0
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"Idle No More fast continued at Hamilton city hall through storm"