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.
“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.”
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.
WATCH: Southern Chiefs’ Organization plan round dance protest at the Ontario border Friday