Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan protesters gather on Indigenous Day of Action

Protesters were gathering at a Husky gas station in Regina Monday to demand action on Indigenous issues.

Husky gas station site of afternoon rally, separate march taking place in Fort Qu'Appelle

Protesters were carrying signs at the Husky gas station on Regina's Rochdale Boulevard. (Philippe Dumais/SRC)

Protesters were gathering at a Husky gas station in Regina Monday to demand action on Indigenous issues.

They were part of protests across Canada to mark Indigenous Day of Action.

Organizers said Indigenous "land and water protectors" would be joined by environmentalists and labour organizers at the gas station on the north end of the city.

They want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to commit to "deeds, not words" when it comes to Indigenous issues.

Protester Wendy-Lynn Lerat said Trudeau's election promise to engage with Indigenous people about protecting land from oil and mining hasn't happened. Now in the wake of a pipeline spill in Saskatchewan, Ottawa needs to react. 

"It's severely impacted ... the ability for sustainable livelihood in many Indigenous communities," she said. "Industries ... are poisoning our waters and it's a real tragedy. 

As part of that, they're calling on the Prime Minister to cease fossil fuel expansion and to immediately start moving Canada toward green energy, transit, and homes.

In Fort Qu'Appelle, Sask., a group marched in solidarity with Native American protesters in North Dakota who have been working to stop a pipeline project. (Mike Zartler/CBC)

It took place at the gas station at 5330 Rochdale Blvd. Sunday afternoon.

The Husky brand has been in the news lately after a Husky oil pipeline ruptured earlier this year, releasing as much as 250,000 litres of oil and chemicals into the North Saskatchewan River.

Meanwhile, a separate group was marching in Fort Qu'Appelle, about 70 kilometres northeast of Regina.

The Stand in Solidarity with Standing Rock group supports Native American protesters in North Dakota who have been working to stop a pipeline project. 

Demonstration organizer Katie Wilson said Trudeau needs to make good on his promises to repair the government's relationship with Indigenous people. 

"Justin Trudeau, ever since he became the Prime Minister of Canada he's made a lot of promises especially to Indigenous people saying he's going to establish a new relationships. It's been just words and no actions," Wilson said. 

Katie Wilson said it's time for the federal government to take a hard line on fossil fuel energy and lead Canada to more environmentally-friendly energy resources. (CBC)

She added Ottawa needs to take a tougher stance on fossil fuels and change to culture in Canada towards green energy. 

Demonstrators say they're also worried about environmental damage to the nearby Qu'Appelle Valley Lakes and want the dumping of contaminants in the waterway to end.

now