Manitou protesters, council slated to meet

Protesters who occupied the band office at Rainy River First Nation for more than 24 hours last week are slated to meet tonight with council there to discuss housing for elder Genevieve McGinnis.
Leona McGinnis, spokesperson for the protesters, said the four band councillors—Sam Bombay, Agnes Sadewasser, Kathy Meyers, and Allan Wilson—have agreed to meet with them after tonight’s council meeting.
The protesters agreed to stop their occupation once this meeting was arranged last Tuesday night.
“It’s difficult to say what’s going to happen but we’re hoping to get something decided tonight,” said Coun. Sadewasser, adding there’s
definitely room for McGinnis in the new apartment complex there.
Leona McGinnis said if her mother doesn’t receive housing, the group is prepared to occupy the band office again.
The protesters are asking council for a mediator. Also, because council usually has an elder present during meetings, McGinnis said the protesters want an elder of their choice to be present, too.
“They’re not going to intimidate us,” she stressed. “We’re doing this peacefully. We want a meeting to address the issues.”
The protesters want priority housing for on-reserve members but also wish to discuss other issues, including equal job opportunities for band members and band office financial accountability.