01/16/2013 06:49 EST | Updated 03/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Idle No More Protesters Block Victoria Highway

Several hundred Idle No More protesters on Vancouver Island blocked traffic on the Pat Bay Highway connecting Victoria with the airport and the Swartz Bay ferry terminal early Wednesday.

The protest was part of a national day of action for the aboriginal rights movement, which included protests in Terrace, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and many other cities.

Members of the Tsawout and Tsartlip First Nations said the federal government has not honoured its treaties, including compensation for Highway 17 that runs through their traditional territories.

Rayanne Claxton says she decided to protest for the first time in her life because she believes the Harper government's policies continue to ignore aboriginal rights and title.

"We're supposed to be included in any changes that affect us, by leaders of our choosing. But that hasn't happened. And I hope Canada wakes up and sees we're not just fighting for us, we're fighting for everyone."

The protesters blocked traffic near Sidney for about an hour before dispersing around noon.

Meanwhile, other Idle No More organizers are hosting a forum at the University of Victoria tonight, entitled "Where do we go from here?"

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