Six Nations Solidarity

News | Background | What you can do | Links 

Natives plan to block Manitoba railway

Kristine Owramb - Canadian Press
Globe & Mail
Posted at 9:23 PM EDT on 16/06/06

[SISIS note: The following mainstream news article is provided for reference only, as an example of how mainstream media treats indigenous resistance to genocide. Mainstream media often presents biased and distorted information, lacking pertinent facts and/or context. Inclusion of this article on our site should not be considered an endorsement by SISIS.]

WINNIPEG — Some Manitoba First Nations plan to block rail lines connecting the province to the United States to raise awareness about land claims issues.

Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway tracks will be affected by the blockades, which will start at 4 p.m. on June 29, said Chief Terry Nelson of the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation.

Protesters and vehicles will block affected rail lines for 24 hours, he said.

Roseau River, which is 90 kilometres south of Winnipeg, plans to block two lines.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs supports the blockade, and Chief Nelson said First Nations in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. are also talking about getting involved.

“First Nations are tired,” said Chief Nelson. “The 6,000 land claims that are in limbo across the country need to be addressed, and it's unfortunate that we have to create a crisis in order for the government to respond to anything.”

Chief Nelson added that First Nations across the country feel that they deserve a bigger share of Canada's resource revenue.

“The people who immigrated to our lands didn't bring the diamonds with them in their little wooden boats. They didn't bring the zinc, the iron, the oil, the timber or any of the other resources that every Canadian can depend upon,” he said.

“The Canadian federal government gets more money from their royalties on resources than they do on income tax, so to say that the First Nations live off the good grace of the Canadian taxpayer is absolutely false. We want a share of our own land and resources — we want a share of our own wealth.”

The only way the blockade could turn violent is if the RCMP try to stop it with force, said Cheif Nelson.

“We don't want to hurt anybody, we don't want to hurt the economy, we just want to send a message.”

In Ontario, aboriginal protesters have occupied land that was being developed as a subdivision since February.

On Friday, the Ontario government bought out the developer whose unfinished subdivision sits on the disputed land in Caledonia, Ont., but the Six Nations occupiers say they won't stop until the land is back in their hands.

They claim the land is part of a parcel sold out from under their ancestors by the Crown in the 1840s.

BackBack to updates

Back Top