Activists say they expect to start the blockade on the Trans-Canada Highway around 12:30 p.m. (Shutterstock) #Indigenous activists plan to block traffic at Deacon’s Corner east of Winnipeg on Friday to demand action from the federal government to deal with the #suicide crisis on First Nations.
They plan to bottleneck traffic starting around 12:30 p.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway, said Vin Clarke of the Urban Warrior Alliance.
Protesters will hand out information and have a petition for people to sign. It will be sent to federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Health Minister Jane Philpott.
"We need opportunities to identify where the priorities are needed as well as equip the staffing with the funds that are necessary to intervene and prevent any more devastating losses to our communities," said Clarke.
The Urban Warrior Alliance will be joined by the American #Indian Movement Canada and Idle No More, he said.
Clarke said his group contacted the Manitoba and Canadian governments in 2016 as the First Nations communities of Attawapiskat and Cross Lake faced growing suicide crises. The Urban Warrior Alliance will be joined by the American Indian Movement Canada and Idle No More. (Austin Grabish / CBC) "After we made those calls to the government, there was no action to help improve the wellness of our youth up north or their families," he said.
When asked about the potential for hostility when they block traffic on the highway, which is expected to be busy with travel to lake country east of Winnipeg on Friday, Clarke said there is always the potential for hostility when his group does something like this.
"But when we do something like this, we do it with good intent and with good spirits," he said.With files from Meaghan Ketcheson
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