About 35 people boarded a bus in Regina last night as part of a First Nations protest movement that is taking its message directly to Ottawa.
Since early December, Aboriginal people across Canada have been holding demonstrations against the Harper government in protest of the omnibus Bill C-45 which critics say will make drastic changes to how land and water is managed.
The Regina bus is one of several from across the nation, which will meet up for a large Idle No More protest on Parliament Hill on Friday.
Michelle-Rae McKay, one of the Regina bus organizers, says the $14,000 necessary to pay for the trip was all raised within a few days.
She says a number of organizations pitched in financially including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Sakimay First Nation and the Yorkton Tribal Council.
First Nations groups are also rallying against the federal government as part of the Idle No More movement in a number of other Saskatchewan communities.
In Meadow Lake, protesters recently demonstrated in front of Conservative MP Rob Clarke’s constituency office.
Clarke says he is happy to see people exercising their democratic rights but he pays little heed to the protesters concerns.
He says opposition to Bill C-45 is based on misinformation and likely organized by First Nations leaders who feel threatened by the federal government’s moves to make them more accountable.
In Prince Albert, Idle No More demonstrations have been taking place too but Kristin Scansen, one of the lead organizers, says protesters are frustrated by the city’s move to divert rally marches to less visible streets.
She says organizers have been in touch with the Prince Albert Grand Council and are weighing their options.