Saskatchewan

More teepees join protest camp at Sask. legislature

There are now nine teepees erected on the front lawn of the Regina Legislative Building.

Muscowpetung, Peepeekisis First Nations among those who have set up at protest camp

Nine teepees were set up in the camp as of Friday, as preparations were made for the Trespassers Pow-wow: A Pre- Canada Day celebration. (Penny Smoke )

There are now nine teepees erected on the front lawn of the Regina Legislative Building.

The Justice for Our Stolen Children camp, which began as an informal protest, has now gained support from other organizations and First Nations from around the province.

The camp was initially set up in response to the not-guilty verdicts in the Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier trials. It gained momentum as other people came with stories of their own on issues of child welfare, racism and discrimination. 

Regina Police Service officers arrested six protesters at the camp on June 15. (CBC)

The first iteration of the camp was dismantled earlier this month after police arrested some of the protesters in the earlier morning hours of June 15.

Regina Police and the provincial government cited bylaws that prohibited people from sleeping in the park. 

We believe they were executing their democratic right to peacefully protest in that manner.- Cory Generoux , Communication Specialist File Hills Qu' Appelle  Tribal Council

On June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, members of the camp along with some supporters raised the teepee once again.

The following day all the vice-chiefs from Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations went to the camp to announce solidarity with the protesters.

Within a few days a representative from the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal council (FHQ) showed up and raised a a teepee in a show of support.

"We decided to send a teepee out there after the provincial government failed to meet with the camp, and the campers were taken out and to jail."says Cory Generoux, a spokesperson for the FHQ.

"We believe they were executing their democratic right to peacefully protest in that manner."

Nine teepees line the portion of the park that has been occupied by the Stolen Children protesters. (Penny Smoke )

As of this week representatives from the Muscowpetung First Nation, Peepeekisis First Nation and All Nations Hope Network had set up other teepees, along with five other teepees set up by members of the community. There were nine teepees as of Friday afternoon.

Shawna Anaskan, a teacher from the Piapot First Nation, brought her own teepee to the camp.

She said she wanted to show her support after hearing how it was removed earlier in the month. She said that after the Stanley case she had her own experience of needing assistance on the highway. It stuck with her and left her with a fear to stop. 

Anaskan was gifted the teepee by her father and has used it for the youth's cultural camps on her reserve.  

"I figured that maybe if they need some type of help or some type of support." Anaskan said.

"To show some support and give them a warm area."

Although Anaskan isn't camping at the site herself, she said she will continue to supply firewood to the camp for the fire that has been burning for the past 122 days.

The Provincial government has set up a meeting with protesters for July 2 in Fort Qu'Appelle, where Treaty 4 was originally signed.

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray has stated there are no plans to remove the protesters, since a meeting has been arranged.

A pow-wow is scheduled at the site for Saturday beginning at noon, with a pipe ceremony set for 11 a.m.

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