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Friday, August 14, 2009

Aboriginals Blocking a Northern Road

Another aboriginal community has been screwed over by the government, which really is no surprise, they've been doing that since before Canada was founded.

Members of an Indian band are blocking access to a $1.3-billion hydroelectric development project in northern Manitoba.

A spokesperson for Manitoba Hydro says the group is allowing people to walk through the barricade, but stopping vehicles from passing.

The issue at hand is that Manitoba Hydro made an agreement with the local community of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, which is near Nelson House, MB., to have one third of the total people working on the development site come from their community. Hydro has not met that agreement and have brought in workers from out of province.

Companies should be free to hire whomever they want, out of province, out of country, whatever they think they need. If a company has an agreement with another party, and they don't live up to that agreement, then that is a breach of contract, and may have legal implications. Perhaps the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation didn't have enough people trained in the work that needs to be done; then further negotiations with the community should take place.

Part of the problem is that the company in question is Manitoba Hydro, a crown corporation, aka the government monopoly. The governments in Canada have a long history of not honouring agreements with Aboriginal Communities, with little repercussions of course, they are the government after all.

What do not agree with is the tactic these protesters are using.

Blocking highways is not a good tactic. For one, it pisses people off that might normally be with you. Two, it victimizes the average worker that has little to do with the conflict, preventing them from working and earning a living. Three, if it's someone else’s private property then they have no business occupying it. If it’s public property, then they have no right preventing passage to the public.

I am for protest, I am for civil disobedience, but if other peoples rights are violated in the course of those actions, I cannot support it.


I welcome feedback and I ask for civility in the exchange of comments. Vulgarity and racism is discouraged. Please express yourself creatively with other language. We discuss ideas here, attacks on a person are discouraged.

Posted by Freedom Manitoba on August 14, 2009 in Aboriginal Issues | Permalink


If they were white, you people would care.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-08-14 3:20:31 PM

If they were white, you people would care.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2009-08-14 3:20:31 PM

Who are "you people"?

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-14 3:29:59 PM

Zebulon did not read the post?

The writer didn't agree with the government and took issue with the tactics of the protesters. The "company" might not have been able to find enough of the aboriginal population with the necessary skills an should negotiate this instead of ignoring it. The agreement between them still exists, the Cree cannot fulfill their obligation to provide skilled workers and should accept some other type of compensation.

That is what needs to happen.

Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2009-08-14 3:46:28 PM


From another news report: "RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish said officers are at the scene and do not plan to intervene as long as it remains peaceful. 'The blockade is actually on a private road, it’s not on Highway 391,' Karpish said. 'So the motoring public is not being affected.' "

The story does not say who the owner of the road is.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-08-14 3:48:11 PM

Flashback to 1990 and the Oka Crisis, in the Montreal area. I hope it doesn't take as long to resolve.

And for Zebulon Pike's information, the only casualties during the stand-off were on the non-Native side: one QPF officer shot dead in Oka, and dozens of south shore residents clubbed and arrested by QPF for daring to do what the Khanawake Mohawks had done (blocking access to Mercier Bridge) with impunity.

Posted by: Nothing New Under the Sun | 2009-08-14 4:11:21 PM

If they were white, you people would care.
Posted by: Zebulon Punk | 2009-08-14 3:20:31 PM

Da Punk is confused. The story takes place in Manitoba not Ontario. Da Punk's issue is that the employment set aside was for natives and not his people.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-08-14 4:27:20 PM

I doubt that all the jobs require special skills, for it is more likely another situation of a union closed shop. Manitoba Hydro made a promise which must be honoured. They were aware of the situation when they made the commitment; that is the type of work force the Cree could provide. Most jobs could be done with some on-the-job training.

I do not agree with blocking public roads, but it seems this is not the case. I also well understand the frustration of the people concerned.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-08-14 9:12:49 PM

I've revised my position on this somewhat, I've made a new post.

To sum it up, they were blocking a private road to the construction site and were preventing people from being able to leave the work site for the first day, and by Friday they let people walk through. That's forcible confinement from my view.

Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-15 12:48:52 PM

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