Sandy Bay First Nation intends to shutdown Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba

By Kenneth Jackson
APTN National News
The Sandy Bay First Nation in Manitoba plans to shutdown the Trans-Canada Highway with vehicles Saturday in what they’re calling a peaceful protest against the federal government and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The blockade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Hwy. 1 and Hwy 16. It is expected to end at 5 p.m.

Over 250 people have said they are going on a Facebook event page that has been set up. It’s called Road Block. Sandy Bay is about 180 Km northwest of Winnipeg.

“This is a main route,” said organizer Tricia Beaulieu, 25. “We’re closing up all the roads with vehicles.”

Beaulieu said she started planning the blockade Thursday morning and has heard she is getting support from First Nations reaching Vancouver.

“We’re doing this against Stephen Harper. We want our voices to be heard,” she said. “This is our land. We welcomed the white people to come on our land and now they are taking that away from us. As a reserve we are going to do our best to be heard.”

She said they’re also doing it in support of Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence who has been on a hunger strike since Tuesday in Ottawa. Spence is demanding the government respect treaty rights. She wants a meeting with Harper, the Queen and First Nation leaders.

Beaulieu said they’re also doing it to support the Idle No More movement that has swept across First Nations from coast to coast to protest against federal legislation, such as Bill C-45, that they say aims to rob them of land, their rights and identity.

“First Nations are concerned over changes to the Indian Act, some of which may affect the leasing of reserve lands and how decisions involving band territories are made. First Nations are also opposed to amendments to the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which removed thousands of lakes and streams from federal protection under that law, something the Conservatives said would help remove red tape that held up projects along waterways,” a statement says on their event page.

Beaulieu said she’s never been afraid to stand up for what she believes in. She said she has spoken to the RCMP and was told as long as it’s peaceful they’ll be left alone.

“We’re not going to cause any violence. It’s going to be a peaceful rally. We just want to be heard,” she said.

Another demonstration is planned for Sunday by the Stoney Nakoda First Nation in Morley, Alberta. They intend to shut down one lane of Hwy. 1 but they say they were told by the RCMP if they attempt to block both lanes they will be arrested.

“We could get thrown in jail,” said Erica Ryder, one of the organizers. “If people even attempt to block it our asses are on the line.”

The community held a meeting Wednesday night with about 50 people in attendance. They expect several hundred people to show up.

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Twitter: @afixedaddress

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

19 thoughts on “Sandy Bay First Nation intends to shutdown Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba

  1. I guess there is no point leaving comments when they are not to be posted. How can a person be supportive when their voice is not welcome to be heard? I guess you have all the support you need then. Sorry for caring.

  2. It is great that they are taking such a stand and I support that stand as they are making it for All Canadians…aboriginal and non aboriginal alike. I do have concerns that people lined up in their vehicles have access to fuel and food and alternative routing as they will be inadvertently participating in this non violent Stand. Personally I think it would be great to see open lanes of traffic in either direction from Canada’s East Coast to West with demonstrators in “slow” lanes where the construction permits doing 15 K. right across the country …Free …to come…and go…. That way a clear statement can be made, still respecting the personal and individual situations of travelers. That would make it truly non violent. I would be happy to participate in such a caravan showing loss of trust in our Government.

  3. excellent
    piece of journalism! Very informational. It would be so easy for Canada
    to give up “her” (gag spatt) borders and forfeit 1/2 the land to the First Nations
    for self government.

  4. why is this not being reported on the main stream news broadcasts. I would think that this is a very serious matter.

  5. I am a white/ spanish ladie from ontario, I hope this works for u and I Harper will listen but if he’s running now he’s going to keep running, all five of my children are first nation! If I could of gotton the day off or weekend off I would be there with u but I don’t drive! Power to freedom of speech!

  6. We need everyone across Canada to arrange 1 day,1 week…to go out and show that we stand as one. Let us choose a day and tell all our Indian people to make a stand on that day!! We need to make a great impact on this nation so we will be acknowledged. So that the governing body will know we all stand together as one. So it knows we will not be intimidated and will not stand down. There are so many wrongs, so much was promised. So much is taken from us and they keep taking. It is time to all stand as one on the same day. Shut down Canada. Time to truly be noticed!!

  7. This is the same thing when the king gave hudson bay company the right to ruperts land, the king has no treaty or lawful right to the lands to give such rights of ownership too. the hudson bay company was granted complete sovereignty over ruperts land(i hope everyone understands the true meaning of sovereign) and its inhabitants unlawfully. this can be proven by many books and court documents available online that prove that HUDSON BAY COMPANY did NOT have a valid claim or title to ruperts land or its resources or inhabitants wether it was the ORIGINAL people (not aboriginal, there is nothing abnormal about this considering its the CROWN behind it all) or foreigners. from the time the CROWN agent found turtle island to today, the CORPORATION known as the CROWN has never had a valid title or deed to turtle island, the CROWN has not fullfilled its duties as agents to the the true principal owner(s) the original people of turtle island. this is a serious offence the CROWN has continues to commit. if everyone was to do ther own due dilligance and research the tyranny of the CROWN from the start(law were made to have recourse against the king and his/her agents , not for the king to enforce on inhabitants) you will come to your own conclusion on what the real truth to this 300 year old land battle, it happed to many races and countries, its the duty of the people to govern themselves and to make the world we want not what corporations want. this is one scottish guy that will do his best not only to show up and support this, but to bring as many supprters as i can, “any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and loose both” benjamin franklin

  8. The AFN conducted research
    into what First Nations received from the governments to sustain themselves on
    reserved lands, and the bottom line was that First Nations received their reserved land monies in the amounts
    of .001% of Canada’s overall annual
    Natural Resource Revenue; however, they
    are suppose to be receiving 1% of overall annual Natural Resource Revenues. This
    is a result of the deal made during the
    Constitution talks, “that the Indian Reserves of Canada would receive 1%
    of all revenues that come from Canada’s Natural Resources;” however, that
    has never happened so First Nations have billions owed to them by Canada. AFN
    has that research that they did, probably 10 to 15 years ago. It also explained
    that tax dollars are not used for First Nations communities (reserved lands),
    unless by special agreements between the First Nation governments and the
    Provincial governments. Metis and Inuit, however, receive almost all their
    monies from various tax payments and transfers (like all other Canadians living
    on non-reserved lands). That is the crucial difference. Metis and Inuit lands
    are not reserved. Metis and Inuit also
    pay taxes within their own lands as is the case for anyone living on non-reserved
    lands anywhere in Canada including First Nations peoples. Every MP and MPP
    knows that First Nations do not receive nor have use of tax dollars for
    reserved lands, how many will stand up and say that though??

    Someone needs to explain very slowly and clearly to
    non-Aboriginal people that their taxes do not support First Nations. The truth
    is very few Canadians pay more into the system than they get out of it. They’re
    taxes are not enough to even sustain their own standard of living let alone
    someone else’s. Canada’s massive wealth is because of natural resources and no
    other reason. And as everyone knows, not one stone came over on the ships from
    Europe. There isn’t a village or town in Canada, not even a single detached
    household that is self-sustaining without natural resource wealth. It cost over
    $100,000 just to install a crosswalk light and that doesn’t even include
    maintenance. $100,000 just for 5 or 6 blocks of pavement. Public
    Transit/highways roads and maintenance costs millions and billions. We haven’t
    even discussed healthcare and education. Most all Canadians would have to live
    in high rise apartments for us to even have a chance at sustainability without
    natural resource wealth. The wealth comes from the Natural Resources and that
    obviously has not equally been spent in First Nations communities…yet it’s
    existence did not arrive on the ships with the Europeans…it was already
    here…the estimated resource wealth in reserved lands alone is billions and
    billions of dollars and that doesn’t included shared lands/treaty lands.
    Politicians need to act like adults and educate Canadians about this myth and
    tell their supporters that they’re taxes alone do not even sustain them. They
    are not supporting First Nations people and never have.

    1. “Someone needs to explain very slowly and clearly to
      non-Aboriginal people that their taxes do not support First Nations.”

      Please don’t stereotype non-Aboriginals. I am not stupid; I do not need you to explain it to me “very slowly and clearly”. I get it just fine, thanks.
      For the record, I am supportive of First Nation people fighting for their rights and fighting for the right to be heard. Unfortunately, I think whatever FN have to say will fall on deaf ears. Harper is behaving like a dic(k)tator and will ruin this country for ALL Canadians.

      1. thank you Lisa. It seems to me that many people think that a non-native is ignorant. I am very well aware of native issues in this country and am supportive of peaceful measures. FYI everyone… I have not heard of any of this in the mainstream media. Dic(k)tator Harper is not the only entity to be blamed for those who may be ignorant of the plight of our Brothers and Sisters.

      2. dic(K)tator Harper doesn’t even know where to start. I think he is trying to avoid situations like the constitutional question1982 (Trudeau); Meech lake and Charlottown accords 87-92 (Mulroney).

  9. The government of Canada should respect treaty rights. They may have been written a long time but they still are legal. The Harper government is out to ruin Canada one stroke of the pen at a time. I maybe white but I support you. We came over here ruined your land put you on reserves.

  10. I really want our people to be heard! But it seems like Harper is avoiding our voices because when or if the time comes to sit down with our people, he won’t have anything to say because he knows what he’s doing is wrong!!

  11. If The governments going to take and run. Then all first nations need to step up and shut down all resources that Canada uses like mines, forestry etc….

  12. Since this is regarding the Monarchy and their Spokespeople HARPER…To maintain the Spirit and Intent of the Treaties…HARPER. You REALLY are OBLIGATED TO DEAL with this Issue, AND with the DOORS OPENED and with the ABORIGINAL RACE…NO MORE DEALING WITH OUR ISSUES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…only in Canada!!

    1. I am proud of the people who will go and stop the highway we need to make a stand… for too long we have been forgotten we are here and here we will stay. Even on the highway.

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