Protesters of the Justice for our Stolen Children camp evicted a week ago from Wascana Park have re-established their camp by erecting their teepee.
Now, three other teepees are on site, and organizers say more are expected this week, in the lead up to Canada Day festivities.
Camp spokesperson Robyn Pitawanakwat says the community support indicates the issues the camp has been raising are systemic.
“It shows that the issues we’ve been raising are systemic and are across all of the Indigenous communities,” Pitawanakwat said.
Regina police arrested six people on June 18 for obstruction of justice during the enforcement of an eviction order. The six arrested were released later that day and not charged.
The camp has turned increasingly political in that last few weeks, with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron showing up to the protest site to call on the provincial government to make changes to the child welfare system and to listen to the protesters.
File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council and the Piapot First Nation have set up teepees to show their support. With the camp growing by the day, Pitawanakwat says this is an indication that the protesters are not going anywhere.
“It’s growing, so there’s no intention for people to leave at this point,” Pitawanakwat explained.
The camp was originally erected to raise public awareness to what organizers say was injustices to Indigenous peoples, particularly the acquittals in murder trials of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier.
The Wascana grounds do not permit overnight camping, fires or the erection of structures.
Attorney General Don Morgan says he expects people to comply with the laws and that the eviction order is still in place.
“We expect that the law should be complied with. We expect that Regina Police Service shall and will ensure the law is enforced,” Morgan explained.
With the FSIN now involved, Morgan says it may be advantageous to use their help in facilitating a formal meeting between protesters and the government.
“We would like to have dialogue with the people that are in the park. We are reaching out through a variety of chiefs and different sources to see if we can have some formal dialogue to resolve some of these issues,” Morgan stated.
(PHOTO: Camp organizer Prescott Demas inspecting a teepee. By Dan Jones.)