Youth in revolt in Manitoba is a protest that’s taking place in the province’s capital, Winnipeg, that’s being spearheaded by youth hockey players and a few members of the Black Lives Matter movement.
But the youth movement isn’t a new one in Bemidsjäger, which sits on the North Shore of the province, and the protest is a response to what it calls the “continued oppression” of Indigenous peoples in the city.
The Black Lives Matters Winnipeg chapter has called on the provincial government to commit to building housing and infrastructure for youth, including housing for Indigenous youth.
Bemiddji has been a centre of the protests for several years.
The group, which has also led a campaign to end the death penalty in the state, has said its members are being denied access to justice because of their race and Indigenous status.
In a statement on its website, the Black Loves Matter Winnipeg chapter said it had decided to stage the protest “in solidarity with the Black youth of Bemisjäder” because of the ongoing resistance to the death of Indigenous people in Manitoba.
B.C. has seen similar protests in recent years, including in Vancouver and Edmonton.
NDP recently made changes to the criminal justice system in the wake of the 2016 murder of Nelson Mandela, which saw a number of Indigenous youth arrested and charged in connection to the killing.
The new changes also included the removal of bail for many youth charged with crimes.
The protest was organised by Black Lives Winnipeg, the Manitoba Black Youth Legal Collective, and Manitoba Black Lives Association.
Black Lives Manitoba, an Indigenous rights advocacy group, organized the demonstration.
In response to a query about why they decided to participate, a spokesperson said the group was “dedicated to building a stronger, fairer, and more just society” in B.ca.
Black Lifts spokesperson J.R. Kibler said the protesters are protesting against the government’s decision to reduce bail to non-indigenous youth in the death cases of Nelson and Khayi Mandela, two of the first Black men to be freed from prison.
B.E.F. said the protests will continue in Manitoba and beyond, calling on the province to make a commitment to Indigenous youth in Beringia, the northern part of B.S. that borders Bemidi. “
The people who are participating in this protest are saying that the police, who are the biggest oppressors in this country, can no longer make decisions for us that are based on race, class, and sexual orientation.”
B.E.F. said the protests will continue in Manitoba and beyond, calling on the province to make a commitment to Indigenous youth in Beringia, the northern part of B.S. that borders Bemidi.
In February, Bemidia announced it would allow the construction of housing for more than 1,000 Indigenous families with children living in a traditional village, but it will take a minimum of three years to do so.
In the past year, B.emidski has faced increased calls to provide housing to Indigenous families, particularly in remote communities.
Bremmektig First Nation, a remote Indigenous community on the northwest coast of Beringie, has had to fight to receive housing for its children, said Bremminger Mckenzie, an organizer with Bremmerski First Nation.
“If we can’t have housing for our kids, they will be pushed out of the community,” Mcklenne said.
In March, Bremmski First Nations Council asked the province for more funding to fund a $10,000 housing grant.
The province responded by giving Bremkski First First Nation $10 million in 2016, but in 2018, the federal government stopped the grant, saying the funding had not been spent.
In 2018, a group of Indigenous leaders in Bremski sent a letter to Premier Brian Pallister, calling for an apology for the funding decision.
“While there are many issues facing Bremeski First Peoples in the community, our Indigenous brothers and sisters are suffering due to the lack of housing that the provincial Government has refused to allocate,” the letter read.
“This has led to us being left with no option but to petition the federal Government to provide more housing for us in order to alleviate our financial stress.”
In an email to CBC News, Pallister said he had not yet heard of the Bremmanski First peoples petition, but would be following up on it.
“I am aware of the concerns that have been raised regarding the Bemanski First nation’s housing request and have already begun to engage with them on the matter,” he said.
“We remain committed to making Bremsenki First nations a more integrated part of the local community and I look forward to working with the First Nations people in order for this issue to be resolved as quickly as possible.”