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First Nations protest disrupts lunchtime traffic at Portage and Main

The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) demonstrated Wednesday at Winnipeg’s most famous intersection with a unity round dance – a peaceful protest meant to raise awareness of what it calls the Pallister government’s oppressive policies targeting Manitoba First Nations.

Similar round dances were held recently on provincial highways, including near the Canada/U.S. border at Emerson and on the Trans-Canada Highway near the border with Ontario.

The unity dance held up traffic for about an hour starting at about noon. Traffic was re-routed through the Exchange District.

Brittany Greenslade@BrittAtGlobal · 4h

About a dozen people here at Portage & Main for the unity dance. So far no one on the road and traffic moving smoothly

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Brittany Greenslade@BrittAtGlobal

SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels says government policy has created conditions where First Nations people are suffering. He says this is political.

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31:03 PM – Sep 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Brittany Greenslade’s other Tweets

“The current government has been exercising unlawful jurisdiction in First Nation territory on a variety of issues, from tobacco and cannabis, to cuts in health care, child and family services, and land procurement,” said the SCO in a statement.

“There has been an all-around failure to consult First Nations on projects which affect us all.”

Brittany Greenslade@BrittAtGlobal · 3hReplying to @BrittAtGlobal

Portage and Main now getting shut down by @wpgpolice for the unity dance

Brittany Greenslade@BrittAtGlobal

Unity dance in the middle of portage and main has the area completely closed to traffic. SCO says the disruption is about bringing awareness to impoverished FN communities and their struggles31:22 PM – Sep 4, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Brittany Greenslade’s other Tweets

The SCO said it’s calling on indigenous people and allies in Winnipeg to show their support for the Portage and Main protest, as well as future round dances which will be announced at a later date.

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