Methods in 1st segment
Methods in 2nd segment
Methods in 3rd segment
Methods in 4th segment
Methods in 5th segment
Methods in 6th segment
Involvement of social elites
Nonviolent responses of opponent
Groups in 1st Segment
Success in achieving specific demands/goals
Notes on outcomes
In Canada, there are many First Nations groups with unique languages and cultures. One of those is the Cree nation, who speak Cree and are accustomed to Cree social norms within Canada. Manitoba, a central Canadian province, has a large indigenous popular with high unemployment.
In August of 2009 a group of Nisichawayashich Cree people from a remote area in the northern region of the Manitoba blockaded an access road to the construction site of the Wuskwatim hydroelectric dam. The blockade limited workers and services from entering or leaving the site. The activists wanted more jobs to be awarded to Nisichawayashich Cree workers.
Manitoba Hydro had proposed to build the dam on the Burntwood River near the Taskinigup Falls, with the support of the surrounding communities and the local band of Nisichawayashich. Only 8% of the local band members voted against the arrangement. The energy company expected guaranteed returns on their long-term investment.
The protesters set up the blockade on August 13, 2009. They hoped to reduce and eventually stop any traffic commuting to and from the site, preventing 800 workers from being unable to leave the site for the duration of the protest. Although Royal Canadian Mounted Police were on the scene they did not intervene. The protest remained peaceful and nonviolent.
The Nisichawayashich chief and tribal council said they had not sanctioned the blockade, that the agreement was to hire aboriginals in the region, not only members of Nisichawayashich, and that the agreement was for land usage rather than just resident specific employment.
The blockade continued for 3 days, hindering the movements of workers on the site, as well as material into the work area. The protesters were willing to negotiate. A court injunction was issued to end the blockade.
Manitoba Hydro staff and band members with Ron Evans, the grand Chief of Manitoba at the time, came to an agreement with the protesters to dismantle the blockade. The protesters removed the blockade while Manitoba Hydro continued hiring the way they had been initially, developing an apprenticeship program that included Nisichawayashich band members. Manitoba Hydro eventually hired a total of 2000 aboriginals from the region, 579 of them being qualified workers from the Nisichawayashich Cree Nation.
CBC.ca, “Wuskwatim dam protesters end blockade” CBC News Manitoba. 16 August 2009 online: 21 February 2012. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2009/08/16/wuskwatim-barricade.html>
Manitoba Wildlands, “Wuskwatim Projects” Manitoba Wildlands, 17 February, 2012 online: 21 February 2012 <http://manitobawildlands.org/develop_wuskwatim.htm>
NCN, “NCN Citizens Installing Wuskwatim Turbines and Generators” Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation News release, 2012 online: 27 February 2012 http://www.ncncree.com/ncn/news.html#Andritz
Santin, Aldo “No plans for RCMP to intervene in Wuskwatim dam blockade” Winnipeg Free Press – Online Edition, 14 August 2009, online: 14 February 2012 <http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/ Protestors-maintain-blockade-on-Hwy-391-53222322.html >