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Tataskweyak Cree Nation builds blockade on road to Keeyask dam

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Members of Tataskweyak Cree Nation have set up a blockade against Manitoba Hydro Traffic on Provincial Road 280, saying the condition of the road makes it dangerous to drive on.

Provincial Road 280 is the only way to the Keeyask dam, a construction project by Manitoba Hydro partnering with four different Manitoba First Nation communities, including Tataskweyak.

Melanie Spence, one of the blockade organizers and a councillor at Tataskweyak Cree Nation, said the road is dangerous for those who live in the communities around it.

"It’s all muddy, like you’re building a new road. It’s all mud," Spence said, adding there have been numerous injuries and deaths on the road.

"There’s been too many people killed (on that road)," she said.

Spence said she and the blockaders are calling for, among other things, the paving of Provincial Road 280.

Spence said she had received a reply late Thursday evening from RCMP about a meeting at the blockade on Friday, but said she wasn’t sure who would be attending.

A spokesman for Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton said in a statement the dispute was between Tataskweyak Cree Nation and Manitoba Hydro, and added the two have a history of co-operation.

"We are confident it will be resolved quickly and are monitoring this situation closely to prevent any threat to public safety," the spokesman said in the statement.

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