Manitoba

Round dance on Trans-Canada Highway aims to raise Indigenous election issues

A round dance will slow traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Manitoba-Ontario border on Friday, with the goal of informing drivers about Indigenous issues during the provincial election.

'We have to make it clear that the treaty partnership … predates the province and you have to respect that'

Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels says seven round dances are planned to take place before the provincial election on Sept. 10. (CBC)

A round dance will slow traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Manitoba-Ontario border on Friday, with the aim of informing drivers about Indigenous issues during the provincial election. 

"We have to make it clear that the treaty partnership is something that we've allowed, and that partnership predates the province and you have to respect that," Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said in an interview with Ismaila Alfa, host of CBC Manitoba's afternoon radio show Up to Speed.

"We never gave up the land. We agreed to share it."

The round dance will begin around 5:30 p.m. Rather than halting traffic entirely, over a two-hour period, traffic will be directed through in 15-minute intervals, according to a post on the Southern Chiefs' Organization's Facebook page.

Information cards highlighting some of the issues the organization wants to see raised during the election will be distributed.

The round dance — which the SCO stresses is intended to raise awareness, but which the organization says is not a protest — is one of seven planned around the province during the election.

There will be round dances every Friday until the vote on Sept. 10.

Four dances are planned at locations along the Canada-U.S. border, and two along the Saskatchewan border, Daniels said.

With files from Danelle Cloutier