| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 01:00 pm
Commuters will get up close and personal with Idle No More today as a group of demonstrators blocks traffic on St. Albert Trail.
Local Idle No More organizer Mary Wadham said she's organizing a round dance and smudge ceremony at 4 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 16 on St. Albert Trail where it meets Sturgeon Road.
"We're going to block off traffic at the bottom of the hill," she said, and will hand out pamphlets to passing cars.
The demonstration will completely block all northbound and southbound traffic on the trail for about five minutes as they complete the smudge, said Taz Bouchier, an Edmonton-based elder with the Treaty 8 First Nations taking part in the event. After that, they'll open up one lane in either direction as they hold a 25-minute round dance.
"We are not trying to inconvenience people," she said. "We're trying to create awareness."
The demonstration is taking place at one of the busiest intersections in St. Albert during rush hour. Roughly 19,640 cars pass through this intersection per day, according to the city's 2010 traffic count survey.
Senior management personnel from the St. Albert RCMP have met with demonstration organizers and have been assured that the event will be peaceful and will last no more than 30 minutes, said an RCMP news release.
Police are encouraging motorists to avoid the intersection between 4:00 and 5:00 and consider taking alternate routes.
The Gazette will have full coverage of the event in this weekend's edition.