Idlenomore protests to close Highway 6 and 17 at Espanola Saturday morning

Idlenomore protests to close Highway 6 and 17 at Espanola Saturday morning

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MANITOULIN–Social media and letters circulating among local First Nations communities indicate that plans are play to close Highway 6 and 17 at the Espanola intersection on Saturday morning beginning around 9 am.

Local law enforcement officials indicate that although they have heard the rumours, as of this morning no official communication had informed them of any definite plans. “We have heard some indications that things may be planned, but we have not been contacted yet about definite plans,” said Manitoulin Detachment Commander Kevin Webb. “We have been in discussion with some groups, but I gather that some of their plans have been changed.”

As far as public protests have gone in our area, over the wind mills and such, we have generally had very good interaction.” Commander Webb said that the OPP’s primary concern is ensuring public safety and that he hoped that the protestors can bring their message to the public with “limited inconvenience to the public and taking public safety into account.”

Residents of local communities have, however, reported receiving letters urging them to come out to take part in the Saturday rally as well as a protest rally in Sudbury starting at 10:30 am that will then make its way to the Indian Affairs office.

Local and regional First Nations leaders note that these protests are bubbling up from a grass roots who are frustrated at the lack of progress being made and what are seen by their communities as repeated assaults on Aboriginal and treaty rights.

“It isn’t just about the First Nations,” noted Anishinabek Nation Grand Chief Pat Madahbee. “This Bill C-45 (the Harper government’s omnibus budget bill) is 400 pages and it is so big, hardly anybody knows what is in it. There are a lot of people upset with what is going on in this country right now and they are not going to put up with it.”

Whitefish River First Nation Chief Shining Turtle said that he planned to attend the Friday events in Sudbury and the Saturday protests at the intersection of Highways 6 and 17.

“It is frustrating to all of us,” said Whitefish River First Nation Chief Shining Turtle. “We have been trying to get the federal government to listen, to engage in the consultation they are obliged to do, but it has been like yelling into a giant vacuum. “People are upset, they are upset about this government riding roughshod over our treaty rights and obligations and they are not going to take it anymore,” he said. “All the words have been said, it is time for action.”

Michael Erskine



  1. Please do not totally close it down you will be harming a lot of people who really care, we have been having health problems so the trip will be hard enough, there will be more support if you just hand out info so we all know what is going on. Do you really think that the government cares if we are inconvenienced.

  2. United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2010.

    “Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to self-determination, have the right to autonomy

    or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local affairs.” –shut it downn! :-))

  3. Protest at Highway 17 and 6? Right by Tim Hortons and Wendy’s. You’re so hard done by, having to travel that direction on roads paid by tax payers, interrupting the lives of people working and having to travel for medical and family situations and Christmas. How thoughtful. Sure saps the sympathy out of me.

  4. Umm, why does one ‘nation’ think it should have the right to tell another nation what to do? In particular when the nation the protest is directed at is footing the bill for the protesting nation?
    As long as it’s our money we have a little say.
    Blocking any highway is not the way to win friends or support at anytime. Saturday at Christmas? What, you want to provoke an incident?
    Now much of that was just sarcastic. The system is broken. And it is clear that money and more money and more money….. isn’t working.
    So among other things what would be wrong if a fee simple land ownership plan was put in place?

  5. “Bring the message with “limited inconvenience”!??? First Nations have been inconvenienced with paternalistic policies for over 500 years!! People can’t “inconvenience” themselves for one day to stand up for injustice!? The Bill will not only affect First Nations! Get your head out of your cushy clouds for a minute to take a sniff of the reality is happening around you!

    • No, we are weary of the argument that we all pay for the days of old. Much, but not all, of what took place was based upon the thinking of the day. It was done that way then and accepted practice. It wasn’;t, as much as you would like to say it is, done with malice.
      We can’t help how things were done then.
      The system is completly broken. And our present system may not, in fact is far from perfect, but it works across much of the world. And many have died to have the system and are dying today to achieve that system.
      The enforced discrimination demanded by the aboriginals creates harm. It holds aboriginals back. The country of Canada negotiated treaties based upon then.
      We could of course start to honour exactly what those treaties require. I’m sure you know what is required under health care our ancestors agreed to provide.
      The countless billions the taxpayers provide to another nation within Canadas borders is not the answer. Aboriginals have a vote just as we do. One vote.
      Harper is the first one to show any direction in trying to change the system.
      Not to dominate, to help aboriginals progress.
      Sad to say, I have experience with reserves across Canada. Just like non-aboriginals there is poverty, cruelty, addiction…. However there is a consistent lack of competent leadership. There is rampant nepotism. There is open corruption. There is a lack of fiscal responsibility.
      Yet aboriginals insist on fostering racisim and division.
      Here’s an offer, How many of these protests will go away if we toss you a one time payment of $50 billion. All subsidies end. You have self government. Use it. And you get only the land and rights to that land treaties gave you.
      Little things like mineral rights – nope not unless specific in treaty. Water rights? The same. Services to reserves – you provide them. What’s that – oh sure, you can set up each reserve as a municipality and collect taxes. No problem but don’t be greedy with ‘outsiders’. Many a company has closed/relocated due to taxes.
      So we will go back 500 years and live up to the letter of treaties. Oh, and where Canadians must give up something they built on your land – you pay the cost of it because that’s only fair.
      Want jobs in ‘Canada”? No problem. Please obtain a visa.
      See, I have prepared a pretty silly post. But how silly is it? You encourage people to be silly.

  6. In no way, shape or form do the First Nations foot the bill for this country. It is quite the opposite. First Nations people pay for NOTHING and everyone else goes to work every day to support their leisurely lifestyles. We pay so your children can go to school for free and then also pay to send our own children. We pay taxes so you can get a cheque every month while most of you sit on your butts and do nothing to better your own lives. Your Treaty is outdated and things have evolved and changed. The people that currently live in this country have nothing to do with the reason the Treaty was drawn up in the first place. It’s time to stop blaming everyone else for your problems. How much more can we give you? Stop with the self-entitlement bullcrap already. We all have to try and peacefully co-exist on this planet–one Nation is not entitled to more than another because of an out-dated piece of paper. Shutting down the highway is only going to make us more angry at you than we already are. You are going to make yourselves look even more foolish than you already do. Maybe it’s time that we, as Non First Nations people take a stand against you. With the economy the way it is, we can hardly keep our families afloat, let alone pay for yours. Enough is enough.

    • if treaty is outdated I am sure that some indigenous people prepared to re-negotiate but keep in mind land goes back to indigenous people unless you believe in outright theft etc

      keep in mind that all of the land in canada belongs to first nations…canada only acquires any interest in that land by treaties which were based on idea of sharing resources

      as it currently stands canada is not sharing very well as vast percentage of wealth generated from lands is not provided to indigenous signatories

      also please note that racism occurs any time that you start drawing broad generalizations about ‘you’ people and how ‘most of you sit on your butts and do nothing’

  7. tax payer dollars DO NOT pay for us! you people just assume that! ..the funding money we receive, yes, it comes from the government but it’s payments from the corporations who utilize our lands for its natural resources AFTER canada receives it’s huge cut. Sure, tax payer dollars pay for welfare and healthcare – but it goes for every canadian. If a native lives off-reserve, which most do, they pay taxes. The ones who choose to live on reserve don’t, why? because it is our inherent right to this land! you can like it or pack your bags and give us back the very land we are here to protect. It’s funny how the one thing the government used to take us away from the white society is the same thing that is keeping our voices alive and heard now.

    Get educated a little on the treaties, Chances are you are living on our treaty land.

    Speaking of treaties, here is a fun fact – our treaties legally state that they are completely valid “for as long as the sun rises and the rivers flow” sounds like forever to me. How about you?

    Being inconvenienced for a couple of hours out of your day will not compare to being inconvenienced out of natural resources for the rest of our futures and children’s futures.

    • I know for a fact i work on a reserve, that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on administration costs. Countless services with countless administration costing taxpayers millions of dollars on Manitoulin Island every year. Each reserve has a health agency, each reserve has a “police force”, each reserve has 20-30 “Band admin”. Hundreds of thousands given to cultural foundations, etc etc etc.I am sorry but i do feel for the band residents that are not in on the nepotism, but the waste is crazy. Now multiply this across Canada. I am well aware of the total cost of the Federal government and their crazy spending, but the First Nations is out of proportion by a longshot.

      I think it is time to honour our obligations and make all Canadians equal, but enough is enough. Stand up, shutdown roads, rush parliment hill and do whatever it takes but do it for the right reasons.

      First nations deserve what is owed to them in my opinion, a FAIR share of natural resources, the water, the wealth and a happy and healthy lifestyle. A fair share of education and healthcare but at the moment most “white” people focus on the extravagance and waste.

      Make the change within and then fight for your rights it will go a long way.

    • Yeah sure we will leave. Will we take our infastructure as well? No schools, no raods, no healthcare, no welfare, no police force, no passports, no currency, no houses, no power, nothing left but what you had?. Or will you compensate us for everything we leave behind. Think about it. If you make a silly comment you will get a silly response. Look around the globe. Societies change all the time. In the last 500 years countless cultures have been changed forever. Nations attack others, some are more millitarilly powerful than others. It does not make you weak or strong it is human nature and has existed since time and immemorial. We need to all come together and recognise each other as one thing HUMANS.

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