The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, the Regina Treaty Status Indian Services and the City of Regina are working to find accommodations for approximately 70 people housed in a tent city at Regina’s Pepsi Park.
For about one month, people have been camping at what is dubbed Camp Marjorie at 11th Ave. and Quebec Street.
“To be able to address this need to provide the support to get these people out of these tents and to get these people into safe, secure living quarters. Providing all the wraparound supports that they need,” said FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt.
The FSIN is working on a memorandum of understanding with the City. Pratt said approximately 90 percent of the camp’s inhabitants are Indigenous.
“Something needs to be done. You need substantial resources, in all sectors, mental health, housing. We need supports with addictions,” FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear said.
As the weather gets colder, Mayor Sandra Masters recently told city council there is a need to find a facility to transition the camp to. She said she is having conversations on identifying the needs of the camp.
The Executive Director of the Regina Treaty Status Indian Services said she is not surprised the camp formed, as the approach for addressing homelessness in Regina has not been working. Erica Beaudin said providing long-term support for the homeless will not be a quick fix.
“We will be moving forward with the city as well as the other partners. And looking at exactly how we can get people into homes and provide the proper support. We know there are enough homes for people. But we also know that there aren’t the type of supports that are required. There also aren’t the types of supports that are long term that we require in order to do the work,” explained Beaudin.
Pratt urged the province and the federal government to set up and help resolve the issue.
(Screenshot of FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear speaking at Camp Marjorie in Regina.)