Idle No More: First Nations protesters rally across the country

Protestors gather chanting Idle No More march on a rainy Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 waving flags and...

Protestors gather chanting Idle No More march on a rainy Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 waving flags and placards and briefly blocking streets in Peterborough, Ont. (Clifford Skarstedt/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:34 AM ET

Hundreds of protests, flash mobs, dances, marches and demonstrations were held Friday across Canada in support of Idle No More.

Idle No More protesters who rallied in Edmonton Friday are vowing to shut down Alberta's only highway to its lucrative oilsands projects if they don't get the outcome they want from talks in Ottawa.

"I can promise you, Highway 63 to the oilsands plants will be shut down if things don't change for the better," said Chief Allan Adam, head of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

"I can't speak about plans being made, but I guarantee you talks are being had behind closed doors."

Members of the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation have blockaded Highway 43 between Grande Prairie and Valleyview several times over the past two weeks.

Another group of Idle No More protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Stephen Harper's constituency office in southwest Calgary.

Waving flags and holding placards, the group of about two dozen once again called for Harper to scrap Bill C-45, which they say will damage treaty rights and sovereignty and negatively impact the environment.

Most of the events took place around noon, when Harper started his meeting with First Nations chiefs.

Roughly 100 people boarded buses from Sarnia, Ont., to Ottawa to take part in the Parliament Hill protests, which were disrupted but peaceful.

Police across the country issues warnings about road closures and delays because of the Idle No More events. In some cities, including Edmonton and Sudbury, Ont., downtown areas were blocked for rallies.

Highways around smaller communities, such as Parry Sound, Ont., were expected to have reduced traffic flows.

In Eastern Canada, there are reports that VIA Rail bused passengers from Halifax to Truro, N.S., because of an Idle No More protest blocking the rail line near Truro.

Outside of Chatham, Ont., First Nations members handed out free coffee and doughnuts during a rally attended by more than 150 people from six aboriginal communities in the area.

Organizer Bruce Stonefish said the snacks were a gift from the First Nations people to those who stopped to listen to their concerns.

The Toronto contingent of about 400 people hit one of the city's busiest intersections Friday as talks got underway between Canada's federal government and aboriginal leaders.

More than 200 people also attended a rally in Sault Ste. Marie.

-- With files from Dave Dormer, Angeliques Rodriguez and Terry Davidson


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