Idle No More rally draws 300 to Manitoba legislature

First Nations across Canada are holding rallies to express opposition to proposed legislation by the federal government that they feel is a direct attack on aboriginal rights.

The national day of action and solidarity, called Idle No More, drew about 300 protestors to the Manitoba legislative grounds despite the bitter cold on Monday, the CBC's Tiar Wilson reports.

Many held signs and flags in protest to bill C-45, the federal government's omnibus budget bill, which proposes significant changes to the Indian Act, including changes to land management on reserves that make it easier for the federal government to control reserve land, rally organizers said.

The Idle No More movement emerged about four weeks ago in Saskatchewan as an effort to educate First Nations people on the multitude of legislation being put forward by the government.

People at the Winnipeg rally chanted "we have a voice" alongside traditional drummers and singers.

Organizers said the rally is also about a larger issue, that of the federal government's habit of making changes to the Indian Act without consulting First Nations people beforehand.

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