Portage College, then Alberta NewStart Inc., were about to close its doors due to shortage of funds. Local native people began to feel they must do what they could to re-open the centre and gain public support. At 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 17, 1970, approximately 130 people took over the dormitory for a two-day meeting. This support by local native people was greater than the action group anticipated, and it prompted them to decide to stay until their demands were met. The participants went home to get their blankets, and returned, prepared for a long wait. Thus began the sit-in.
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