(NIPIGON, ON) – A seemingly impromptu blockade on the Nipigon River Bridge has sparked backlash from not only motorists, but from members of the Red Rock Indian Band.
The blockade was organized by a handful of grassroots people who decided to meet up at County Fair Mall at 11:00 pm today before driving out to the Nipigon River Bridge to block traffic in support of the Wet’suwet’en and the struggles they were facing with the pipeline in British Columbia.
The hereditary Chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en have already reached an agreement with the goverment after some discussions. Work is going ahead with the pipeline although some members of the Wet’suwet’en are still opposed to the pipeline.
14 members of the First Nation were arrested when RCMP stormed the bridge they were blocking, ultimately opening up the bridge for access.
Days later, a deal was reached at the bargaining table which the details have not been disclosed, but access to build the pipeline has been granted.
The group protesting on the bridge had not consulted with the Red Rock Indian Band before engaging in the blockade. There are many people concerned about the lack of respect shown to the band, and their traditional lands, as they were not consulted first.
There are elders and vulnerable that have medical appointments that need to get across the bridge, none of which has been agreed to with anyone. This appears to be a rogue group attempting to block the road.
The Nipigon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police is expected to break up the demonstration soon over safety concerns. This incident is unlikely to be masked as a “traditional gathering” as the First Nation’s that claim this as their traditional lands have not been spoken to as of yet.
Traffic was still flowing in both directions with a small delay for motorists.
UPDATE: Approximately 7 police cruisers are on scene and are monitoring the peaceful protest.
Please email photos of the blockade to firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.