For hundreds of people from Saskatoon’s First Nations community opposing Bill C-45 is about supporting their basic human rights.
Participating in the national grassroots movement called Idle No More, protesters marched in peaceful opposition to the omnibus bill — which includes changes to the Indian Act — from the Rainbow Community Centre on 20th Street to MP Kelly Block’s office on 22nd Street Monday afternoon.
“I just want my unborn children … to have their treaty rights,” said Curtis Merasty, a 31-year-old from Sandy Bay. “We’ve had enough and we’re serious about our lives and our culture. It’s been lost, but it will be picked up and found again.”
Idle No More outlines a stance that Bill C-45 lacked proper consultation and infringes on the human rights of Canada’s indigenous peoples.
“Our Goal: To support the grassroots opposition to Stephen Harper’s blatant disregard for democracy, the environment, and the inherent and treaty rights of First Nations peoples.” the group writes on its Facebook event page.
Event organizer, Jessica Gordon said a bill C-45 is an attack on the aboriginal rights and called it “colonial legislation.”
Protester, Kara Sanderson, a 21-year-old nursing student at the University of Saskatchewan said there is a lot at stake for First Nations in Canada if the bill is passed.
“Not only our education, but our future generations education and just our rights as First Nations people,” said Sanderson. “I’m here take a stand, make a difference and hopefully we’re heard by the government and nothing changes and we still have the same rights that we have now.”