In this December photo, protesters supporting the Idle No More movement demonstrate on 18th Street near Brandon University. Members of the Waywayseecappo First Nation will block a portion of Highway 45 in Rossburn between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. today and Thursday. The Idle No More movement opposes the federal Conservative government’s recently passed omnibus budget legislation, Bill C-45, and believes the government is infringing on treaty rights.
Members of the Waywayseecappo First Nation are continuing to show their support for the Idle No More grassroots movement by hosting a two-day protest that will block a portion of Highway 45 near the gas bar in Rossburn.
The protest will take place today and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. — the final days leading up to the high-profile meeting between the Harper government and the Assembly of First Nations scheduled for Friday.
The public demonstration is being referred to as a "peaceful protest" by organizer Arlene Cooke. Cooke said she’s glad to see just how much traction the Idle No More movement has gained over the last few months.
"It just overwhelms me seeing all of it on Facebook and Twitter," she said.
"I’m just overwhelmed by the support that people are giving to First Nations and Canadians as a whole."
Although Cooke was unable to say just how many community members are expected to participate in the community’s second Idle No More protest since December, she’s hopeful it will help spread awareness for surrounding areas.
"We just want to get more attention for grassroots people, those are the ones being affected by Bill C-45," she said.
The omnibus budget legislation, Bill C-45, contains changes to the Indian Act, the Navigation Protection Act and the Environmental Assessment Act. But Cooke said she’s most concerned about ensuring a bright future for all 11 of her grandchildren.
"I’m worried about my grandchildren, they’re between the ages of 14 and two and I think about their future a lot," she said.
"I just want them to have the same rights as I did while I was growing up."
As for further public demonstrations, Cooke said the community will decide what their next move will be following the meeting on Friday.
"A lot of people are saying that we will see what happens on Friday and discuss whatever else we can do to bring attention out to Ottawa."
Waywayseecappo First Nation RCMP have been made aware of the upcoming protest and plan to provide a police escort if the appropriate resources can be made available.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 9, 2013