Idle No More protests rise up in Thunder Bay

Activisits in Thunder Bay will show their solidarity with thousands gathering in Ottawa Friday as part of the Idle No More movement.

Thunder Bay demonstrations part of Idle No More national day of action

Thunder Bay activist Robert Animikii Horton (right) says 8 pieces of federal legislation threaten to extinguish treaty rights, but the Idle No More movement gives him hope. "It's very frightening, but it's also a time of promise too," he says. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Activists in Thunder Bay will show their solidarity with thousands gathering in Ottawa Friday as part of the Idle No More movement.

For nearly two weeks, First Nations people and supporters have been holding  demonstrations against federal legislation they say erodes treaty rights.

Friday is expected to be the biggest show of solidarity and unity yet in the growing, grass-roots initiated movement.

In Thunder Bay, the day began with sunrise ceremony, with a rally planned at noon at the Spirit Garden on the waterfront.

Idle No More on Friday

There will be a sunrise ceremony and pipe ceremony and lighting of a sacred fire at 29 Royston Court.

At 11 a.m. there will be a gathering of the drums at the Spirit Gardens at the Marina.

At noon there will be drumming in unity, followed by a speakers' gathering and information session. There will also be a peaceful demonstration by the highway.

One of the organizers of the events in Thunder Bay said he's pleased the movement is gaining momentum.

"What's really promising is we have generations working together," Robert Animikii Horton said.

"Youth [are] working with elders, working with healers, with pipe carriers and such, and really igniting that flame that we've all been wanting to see."

Animikii Horton said they are protesting eight government bills, including C-45, that he said are going to violate treaties, as well as assimilate First Nations people.

The bills impact everything from education, to property rights, to regulations regarding drinking water.

He said he is encouraged by the fact that many Canadians also oppose Bill C-45, not just First Nations people.