NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario (WIVB) — Travelers experienced delays Sunday at the Rainbow Bridge, as members of the indigenous community blocked traffic while they held a protest.
“Anytime you insert space particularly as an indigenous person it’s really important because so much of the story that gets told is that we’re not here anymore,” organizer Patty Krawec said.
Members of the indigenous community wanted to let people know that they are there, and that message was loud and clear. Demonstrations were held at various locations near the U.S. and Canadian border, including in front of the Rainbow Bridge entrance leading into the U.S.
“A very good turnout for two days and I wouldn’t want to plan something for a month because you might have 16,000 people out here and it might look like a riot right? Said demonstrator Carl Jamieson. “So in two days to have people from all sides of the border show up and show support for something that’s beautiful is special.”
The indigenous community and its allies gathered to protest what they view as the invasion of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. It all has to do with Coastal Gaslink getting the OK to build a pipeline through the Wet’suwet’en’ land in western Canada
“People need to respect people’s rights,” Jamieson said. “It needs to happen in this lifetime and we come in a peaceful manner and we’re here to protect the land.”
“Indigenous people always get left out,” Krawec said. “You know it’s always our land that stuff goes through.”
“Organizers say they know their demonstration was holding up traffic but they wanted to get their message across and stand in solidarity.
“Yes we’re disrupting traffic, we’re disrupting the border,” Krawec said. “It’s ok. What’s happening in Canada disrupts our lives everyday.”
Demonstrations are being held at each of the border crossings leading into the Canada throughout the country.
“So that the Wet’suwet’en people know that we’re standing up for them,” Krawec said. “It’s a gathering, there’s a lot of people talking and sharing information and sharing ideas of what we hope the broader community could become.”