(Samson Cree Nation blocks Alberta highway Wednesday. Photo credit: @KorenLE)
APTN National News
EDMONTON–Dozens of Samson Cree Nation members have blocked an Alberta highway as part of a blockade in support of Idle No More and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike.
APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto reports from the scene that people have occupied the road, shutting it down.
The Samson Cree Nation issued a statement Tuesday saying the blockade of provincial Hwy 2A would begin at 11:15 a.m. local time and run until 12:15 p.m. The blockade will shut down a portion of the highway between Hwy 611 West and the Pe Sakastew Correctional Centre, the statement said.
The statement said the blockade will be peaceful.
“Pipes will be lifted in support of Idle No More,” said the statement. “The presence of the pipe signifies the pipe laws of gentleness, compassion and mutual respect.”
On Monday, thousands of people across the country took the streets in support of Indigenous rights under the banner of IdleNoMore. The next day, on Tuesday, Spence began her hunger strike which she says will continue until Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Queen Elizabeth II agree to a treaty meeting with First Nations leaders.
“We are taking this opportunity, coinciding with the 12th hour of the 12th day of the December 2012, to bring awareness to First Nation’s opposition to legislation proposed by the Harper government,” said the statement, posted on the band’s website. “We also want people to bring attention to the hunger strike started…by Chief Theresa Spence.”
The statement said the Harper government is pushing a number of pieces of legislation that “directly undermines First Nations’ right of self-determination.”