Protest group 'Colonialism No More' meets Ralph Goodale
Camp in front of Regina's Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office since April
After 100 days of living in a camp in Regina's downtown, members of the protest group 'Colonialism No More' met federal cabinet minister and local Liberal MP Ralph Goodale Thursday afternoon.
The protest camp has been set up in front of the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada office on Albert Street since April 18.
The campers are calling for a number of changes and improvements to the way First Nations people are treated.
They have also been advocating to end the detention of immigrants who are in custody due to either identity questions or security concerns — an issue that falls within Goodale's responsibilities as Public Safety Minister.
On Thursday, in Regina, Goodale said he discussed a number of issues with members of the protest group and much of their meeting concerned the treatment of detainees who are being held in facilities in Ontario.
Goodale said he would like to see improvements to the immigration process and to the quality of life for detainees.
"I have focused on that question and I've indicated that there are a series of reforms that we will be undertaking," Goodale said. "This is a set of circumstances and a set of problems that have been allowed to fester over a long number of years."
Recently, some of the detainees stopped eating.
The Regina protesters stopped eating for the day to express their solidarity with the detainees.
"We were able to ask him a lot of questions that were concerning us," Robyn Pitawanakwat, one of the people in the protest group, said.
She said they pressed Goodale to meet with detainees who are on a hunger strike.
"I hope he follows through on that," she said. "I don't see how a meeting can be detrimental."
Pitawanakwat added that issues concerning INAC remain and the group will continue their camp.