Idle No More Protest Held in Joshua Tree, California
When nobody else seemed to be doing anything to show support in her area for the Idle No More movement, Bobby Jo Larkin organized one herself.
An enrolled member of the Trinity Norrelmuk Wintu Nation, one of several bands of northern California Wintu currently fighting for federal recognition, Larkin wanted to bring local attention to the Idle No More movement to Joshua Tree, California.
To help achieve that she set up the January 26 protest on a corner close to the entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, which got them a lot of attention with it being tourist season in the area.
“I wanted to get the word out to as many people as we possibly could,” Larkin said. “We had people stop and talk to us from Holland, Belgium, even some guy from Canada came up to us.”
She held the protest for a number of reasons—to spread the word about what is going on in Canada as well as to teach. She wants to teach “our youth how to stand and fight. My mom was an activist. She was with AIM [American Indian Movement] for awhile and she worked with Russell Means for awhile; she’s passed now but I’m trying to instill that in my children—you can’t just sit around, you have to stand up for what is right.”
Larkin also believes this movement is going to have a much wider impact than people realize.
“While we stood in solidarity with Canadian indigenous people and in solidarity with indigenous people everywhere, it’s gone beyond Canada now,” she said. “It’s going to set a precedent that’s going to affect all indigenous people… if they are allowed to strip those Canadians of their rights, if that goes through, I bet the BIA are writing a bill right now [to do the same].”
Larkin and her family are also descendants of the Nom-ti-pom Wintu and from the Tau-hin-dauli (also spelled Towendolly) family.
She felt the protest she organized was a success.