FORT ERIE – Members of the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre have joined the growing Idle No More movement and will participate in a march at the Peace Bridge.
Members of the local native community plan to gather at Mather’s Arch on Saturday around noon, then march from there to the mid-way point of the bridge.
“It was a community initiative,” said Lee Hill, one of the organizers from the Centre. “A lot of the community members who have been planning this event are younger members also.”
The Idle No More movement, which began a few months ago and really started gaining traction in December, is a grassroots initiative amongst the native community which seeks to open new dialogue with the government over First Nations issues.
Hill said the Peace Bridge gathering is a way for the local members to help out and spread awareness in a peaceful manner. Members of native groups from the American side of the border will also be participating, and plan to leave from their side of the bridge and meet the Canadians in the middle.
The event is taking place with the full co-operation of the Peace Bridge Authority, Niagara Regional Police and both Canadian and US Customs.
One lane of traffic on the bridge will be closed for the duration of the event, but bridge officials are not expecting delays.
“Following a friendly meeting between Idle No More event organizers and PBA staff, the Authority issued a parade permit allowing attendees to assemble and move across the Peace Bridge in a controlled and peaceful manner on Saturday afternoon,” said Matt Davison, director of communications for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority . “This activity will result in a single temporary lane closure and is not expected to impact traffic movements or result in border wait-time delays. In addition, the PBA has communicated with both Canada and U.S. Customs, as well as regional police and local transportation coalition coordinators regarding the permit issuance and impending event.”