Dozens of Idle No More protesters blocked traffic on Portage Avenue near Winnipeg's Perimeter Highway for several hours Wednesday afternoon.

About 40 people had shut down eastbound and westbound traffic at Portage and St. Charles Street, near the West Perimeter Highway, from 1 p.m. CT until about 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

While the gathering was smaller than previous Idle No More protests in Winnipeg, the group was strategically placed to affect traffic heading in and out of the city.

The temporary roadblock prompted Winnipeg police to divert traffic around Portage Avenue. The area fully re-opened to traffic by 4:15 p.m.

A similar blockade began in Quebec's Gaspé region on Wednesday, with protesters saying they will stay on the tracks at Pointe-à-la-Croix for as long as necessary.

The Idle No More protesters have been voicing their opposition to the federal government's recent omnibus legislation, Bill C-45, which First Nations people say violates their treaty rights and weakens environmental laws.

On Monday, hundreds of people filled the intersection of Portage and Main Street, singing, chanting, and participating in round dances and drumming circles.

The national movement is also being used to express frustration with what First Nations say is a lack of consultation by the government on treaty issues.


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