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Round dance held in Regina in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation

Protesters formed a round dance on Albert Memorial Bridge Saturday in support of Wet’suwet’en Nation .
Protesters formed a round dance on Albert Memorial Bridge Saturday in support of Wet’suwet’en Nation . Connor O'Donovan / Global News

For the second week in a row, supporters of Wet’suwet’en Nation blocked off Albert Memorial Bridge, in solidarity with protests happening across the country.

“We’re hoping to send a clear message to the Regina public that we are not in agreement with what’s happening there,” said Wendy Lynn Lerat, a co-organizer of the protest. “There’s growing support and we’re doing our part.”

A round dance was held on Albert Memorial Bridge Saturday in support of Wet’suwet’en Nation
A round dance was held on Albert Memorial Bridge Saturday in support of Wet’suwet’en Nation. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

READ MORE: No charges after car drives through Wet’suwet’en supporters in Regina

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On Saturday, protesters held hands for a round dance while others formed a barricade to block traffic from driving through the Albert Street bridge. They eventually marched north on Albert Street to about 14th Avenue. Police were there to assist the flow of traffic.

“We’re not doing this to make people feel inconvenienced,” said Lerat. “We’re hoping by being confronted by a blockade, you’ll be reminded of a history that no one reminds you of enough.”

Wendy Lynn Lerat, a co-organizer of Saturday’s protest speaks to a crow on Feb. 15
Wendy Lynn Lerat, a co-organizer of Saturday’s protest speaks to a crow on Feb. 15. Connor O'Donovan / Global News
Regina protesters hold up signs reading “Water Is Life” and “Respect The Land”
Regina protesters hold up signs reading “Water Is Life” and “Respect The Land”. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

“Not everyone wants the kind of development colonialism has brought us. We’re seeing incredible destruction across the world and ecosystems that are in jeopardy and will never recover.”

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Protesters are standing with Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia where some hereditary chiefs oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Protests continue to pop-up daily throughout Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia — with protesters blocking off railways, city intersections and ports.

READ MORE: Rail blockades must be resolved ‘the right way,’ Indigenous Services minister says

Lerat said the protests will persist until sovereignty is addressed.

A protester holds up a sign at the Feb. 15 rally that reads “Free Prior Informed Consent”
A protester holds up a sign at the Feb. 15 rally that reads “Free Prior Informed Consent”. Connor O'Donovan / Global News
Protesters march north on Albert Street toward 14th Avenue
Protesters march north on Albert Street toward 14th Avenue. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

“The messaging needs to switch to recognize the need to have a different narrative. What’s happening in Wet’suwet’en is a reflection in the sickness and desire for change in general society,” Lerat said.

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She said Regina protesters want the government to recognize Indigenous sovereignty, and until they do, rallies will continue to grow.

“It’s not so much to cause inconvenience or get a violent reaction like last time. But we’re hoping they’ll be an opportunity in the near future to collectively say ‘What do we need to do differently here.’”

On Saturday, Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller met with the Mohawk First Nation in Ontario to discuss the cross-country rail blockades.

Indigenous services minister meets with protesters
Indigenous services minister meets with protesters

“All of Canada is hurting. The economy is slowing down and everyone knows the reports about supply shortages,” Miller told reporters.

Following his meeting with the First Nation, Miller said he has a message to deliver to the prime minister and cabinet.

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“I’ve had some great conversations, some very tough ones and some very serious ones, and that’s what I’m going to take back to the prime minister and cabinet tonight and then we’ll move forward in respect and peace.”

—With files from The Canadian Press.

Jody Wilson-Raybould weighs in on the Wet’suwet’en conflict
Jody Wilson-Raybould weighs in on the Wet’suwet’en conflict