Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Letter of the Day

Blockade 'petty and infantile'

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Re: Native activists 'Idle No More' (Dec. 17). I was one of the many thousands of drivers who ran into the blockade organized by the Sandy Bay First Nation on the Trans-Canada on Dec. 15. If, as I understand, the intention was to garner support for their cause regarding omnibus budget Bill C-45, I can report unequivocally that it failed miserably.

As an educator, I spend a great deal of time inculcating my students with facts about the inequities, atrocities and mistreatment that have befallen, and continue to plague, our First Nations brothers and sisters over the years. The 40-minute delay caused by a detour did nothing to further anyone's understanding of their ongoing plight nor do anything to make us want to look further into the many genuine issues they currently face.

They successfully inconvenienced and annoyed thousands of motorists who wanted to do nothing but get to their destination on time. The delay forced me to arrive at a critical meeting late. If -- as I am sure some of the activists will report -- the intention was to "inconvenience" us as they too have been inconvenienced... well, that's just a plain petty and infantile response.

A more appropriate response would have seen the protesters on the side of the highway with banners hailing their successful outcome regarding the Kapyong Barracks debacle, in which the federal government has clearly ignored the laws of the land to the detriment of -- yup, you guessed it -- Sandy Bay First Nation. Had that been the case, I would have happily slowed down, honked in support of their victory and reported back to my students about not only the plight of First Nations people but their recent success.

NATHAN KLIPPENSTEIN

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 20, 2012 A15

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