Rail blockade planned sacred fire lit and Idle No More rallies continue

first_imgBy Tim Fontaine APTN National NewsPeople from Maliseet communities across New Brunswick gathered beside a busy highway near Fredericton Friday, hoping to draw attention to calls for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to meet with First Nation leaders.About three dozen people from St. Mary’s, Woodstock and Kingsclear First Nations took part in the rally, which included Chief Gabriel Atwin and other elected officials. Kingsclear First Nation Coun. Rena Solomon says the protest was peaceful and received a largely positive response from vehicles who drove by, including friendly waves and honks.The protest was supposed to continue until the prime minister agreed to meet with First Nation leaders and the governor general as requested by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence. When word reached the protesters that Harper had announced a gathering would be taking place on Jan. 11, Solomon says the decision was made to end at 6 p.m local time.However, a sacred fire was lit this morning on Kingsclear First Nation and it will remain lit until the January 11 meeting, according to Rena Solomon.A group called the Sikniktuk Mi’kmaq Rights Coalition had announced Friday they would be blocking commercial freight on Canadian National Railway trains that run along the Highway 126 in Adamsville until Monday. The blockade began at 11 a.m.CN spokesman Jim Feeny says the blockade is illegal and the company was exploring ways of dealing with it. He said freight and ferry traffic had been diverted.last_img read more