Several Ontario First Nations have said they do not support certain actions taking place in Ottawa.
In a statement, The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation Chief Wendy Jocko has joined the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in condemning the setup of a teepee, the pipe ceremony, and sacred fire in Confederation Park in support of the Freedom Convoy. The statement reads the First Nations did not give consent to these practices and say that permission from them is needed for these ceremonies.
The First Nations says if these actions continue on traditional unceded territory, they will have no choice but to support Ottawa Police in stopping them. Jocko says the First Nation does not support the Freedom Convoy or any movement that compromises the safety of its members.
In a press release issued Wednesday morning the organizers of the Freedom Convoy say they are staying in Ottawa “for as long as it takes” for governments across Canada to end all COVID-19 mandates.
Convoy leaders also expressed regret that citizens of Canada’s capital are bearing this inconvenience, “Our message to the citizens of Ottawa is one of empathy. We understand your frustration and genuinely wish there was another way for us to get our message across, but the responsibility for your inconvenience lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who have prefer [sic] to vilify and call us names rather than engage in respectful, serious dialogue,” said Chris Barber, Sr. Convoy Leader.
“The fastest way to get us out of the nation’s Capital, is to call your elected representatives and end all C-19 mandates, as the UK did two weeks ago and as both Sweden and Switzerland did today,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, the Ottawa Police Service says there are only about 250 protesters left in the city but Acting Deputy Chief Trish Ferguson called them “a highly-determined and highly-dedicated group of unlawful individuals.”
Ottawa Police say they anticipate the Freedom Convoy will grow again this weekend. So far, there have been three arrests and further charges are coming.
Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly says there may not be a policing solution to bring the protest to an end.
Sloly re-emphasized the fact that so far there have been no deaths, no serious injuries, and no riots.