Saskatchewan Premier wants Police to remove Justice for Our Stolen Children camp

The Justice for Our Stolen Children camp has grown to nine teepees.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe is backing calls for police to remove teepees that protesters have set up on the legislature grounds, forcing changes to Canada Day plans.

Moe says there are laws that cover the park surrounding the provincial legislature to ensure that it’s available to everyone.

“The fact (is) that the protests that we do see across the way are breaking laws here, and those laws should be enforced,” Moe said Thursday.

The Justice for Our Stolen Children camp was set up to protest racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children apprehended by child-welfare workers.

The camp started in late February and was dismantled early last week before being set up again June 21 with more teepees.

Bylaws prohibit overnight camping, placement of structures and burning wood and other combustibles in the park.

The Provincial Capital Commission said on Wednesday that it has had to make alterations to its Canada Day festivities, because the space where the camp is situated normally has a concert stage and beer gardens.

Regina police have said there’s no need to step in at this point, because a meeting is scheduled for Monday between the protesters and five government ministers in the town of Fort Qu’Appelle.

Camp protester Robyn Pitawanakwat said Thursday that she thinks there are laws being broken by pushing out peaceful protests.

“There are charter rights that are being put in violation when that happens,” she said. “Breaking the law is not just one sided in this regard. Bylaws are very minor and charter rights supersede those.”

Moe said it’s the government’s expectation that the teepees will be removed either before or after the meeting. As of Thursday morning, there were nine teepees at the camp.

“We continue to work with First Nations leaders across the province on the issues that have been raised just here,” Moe said. “If the teepees are removed previous to that (meeting), that would be positive as well.”

Pitawanakwat said there needs to be a focus on justice before the teepees are removed.

“We need families coming home,” she said. “We need to have children put back in biological family settings that are open and willing to take them.”

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

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First Nations set up more Tipis at protest camp near Sask. Legislature

More tipis erected on Saskatchewan Legislature grounds. Photo 620 CKRM

More tipis are set up at the protest camp in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature.

There are now six tipis standing in Wascana Park.

CTV Regina reports, there were three tipis added over the weekend. They represent File Hills Tribal Council, Piapot First Nation and Pasqua/White Bear First Nation.

A fourth was sent by Peepeekisis Cree Nation early Monday afternoon; a fifth was added later in the day.

The original tipi at the Justice for our Stolen Children camp was dismantled last week after police arrested some of the protesters. Three days later the tipi was re-erected on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

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The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations said on Friday that it will stand with the protesters.

The camp is expecting more tipis to arrive in the coming days.

Government officials have said they will meet with the group and wonder how it will affect Canada Day festivities in the park.

Justice Minister Don Morgan said that the camp is still illegal, and that he expects the Regina Police Service to enforce the law.

According to CBC News, police did not say if there was a plan for the camp to be taken down again but said they were participating in dialogue with all parties.

FirstNationstipisctv

First Nations add tipis to protest camp.

The camp was set up in February after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine.

Sask. justice minister says he expects law to be enforced, legislature teepee to come down

The teepee went back up before 7 p.m. CST on Thursday, which was National Indigenous Peoples Day. (Janani Whitfield/CBC)

Don Morgan says Justice for Our Stolen Children camp cannot continue at legislature grounds

One day after a teepee in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature was re-erected, Justice Minister Don Morgan said he expected police to enforce the rule of law, and that the grounds are not intended for overnight camping.

“The facilities just aren’t there for that. We expect that the police would take steps to resolve that and they have,” he said of the police response on June 18, when the teepee was taken down and six people were arrested for obstruction.

The Justice for our Stolen Children Camp was spurred by the acquittals of Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier in the Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine murder trials, respectively.

Three Regina Police Service officers carry a protester to a police vehicle on June 18. (CBC)

Founders of the camp said the intention was to draw attention to Indigenous lives lost or affected by factors like violence, foster care or addictions.

On Thursday — National Indigenous Peoples Day — the camp was re-erected and it remained standing at the site into Friday.

Morgan said he wouldn’t comment on police operations or why they had not dismantled the camp again.

“I would have thought it would have been dealt with now but they’ve indicated it may not be for a short period of time, and we leave it to them to make those calls.”

Police have said they have not taken any enforcement action yet, but are having discussions with all involved parties.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, protesters held signs showing pictures of police arriving to dismantle the Justice for Our Stolen Children teepee at the Saskatchewan Legislature grounds. (Eagle from Sakimay First Nation/Justice for Our Stolen Children)

Camp organizers have requested meetings with government officials at the site and in the teepee, but Morgan said it wouldn’t be the appropriate site to discuss matters like specific cases of child welfare, even as he committed to having a dialogue with camp organizers.

The legislature and the teepee

Supporters of the camp gathered outside the legislature, with more than one calling attention to the contrasting sights of the legislature and the teepee.

“I don’t really see why it’s such a big issue to this government and to this authority that this teepee is here,” said Chief Nathan Pasap of White Bear First Nations.

“You have a huge building right there behind you, folks — the Saskatchewan Legislature.”

Chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Bobby Cameron attended the Justice for Our Stolen Children Camp Friday, calling the teepee our house,’ while the government has its own house in the legislature. (CBC News)

The justice reform camp organizers are calling for is sorely needed in the aftermath of the Boushie and Fontaine cases, he said.

“It’s sad that such a simple thing, a call out for help, such as a teepee and someone camping in it, is such a wrong in a country as great as Canada, as resource rich as Canada is.”

FSIN talks meeting with Moe

Bobby Cameron, chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, was also at the camp, adding his voice in support of First Nations children and calling for them to be able to access good education, care and housing.

“As First Nations people, we will go the distance politically and legally to ensure our First Nations children are protected and that they have the best opportunities in life to succeed,” he said.

Cameron noted he and the government have been in contact, and he hoped to arrange a meeting between government officials, including Premier Scott Moe and Morgan, and camp organizers.

Camp not appropriate, says Morgan

Morgan said he would like to narrow down what protesters are asking for and what actions were within a provincial, rather than federal, scope.

When asked if there was a way for both the protesters and the government to find a mutually agreeable compromise, Morgan suggested that a sign or a protest that took place on the sidewalk would be ways for people to exercise their rights in a free and open democracy.

“A camp that doesn’t comply is something that just doesn’t work.”

CBC News · Posted: Jun 22, 2018

[SOURCE]

Tipi back up at Sask Legislature days after government officials, police dismantled it

The tipi is put back in front of the Sask. legislature. Image: Creeson Agecoutay, CTV Regina

Tipi re-erected after National Indigenous Peoples Day event

Three days after police and government officials ordered the removal of the Justice for Our Stolen Children camp, the tipi is back up.

The camp was set up in February in front of the Saskatchewan Legislature after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Tina Fontaine.

Protesters camped in front of the legislature for 111 days.

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After being served an eviction notice earlier this month, six people from the camp were arrested by Regina police on Monday and then released without charges after a tipi was removed from the site.

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

The government said the removal of the protesters came down to safety concerns in Wascana Park.

The tipi was re-erected on Thursday evening following an event marking National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Police had heard about the tipi going back up and came by to observe what was happening but did not take any enforcement action.

FSIN outraged by Sask government, police handling of protest camp outside legislature

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

On Monday, police arrested six people from the teepee near the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says it is outraged by how the Saskatchewan government and police handled protests outside the provincial legislature.

Six people from the Justice for our Stolen Children camp were arrested on Monday as a teepee was removed from the site.

The camp was set up at the end of February shortly after the acquittals of Gerald Stanley in the fatal shooting of Colten Boushie and Raymond Cormier in the death of Manitoba teen Tina Fontaine. Both victims were Indigenous.

It protested racial injustice and the disproportionate number of Indigenous children in government care.

“The current child-welfare system is failing and contributing to many of the social problems our children are forced to endure,” FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement Tuesday.

“We call for respect and peace to rectify the provincial child-welfare system that is failing.”

Cameron said Indigenous communities know what’s best for their children and how to help them succeed in life.

The province had served notice that the camp would be shut down. Authorities evicted most people on Friday and those remaining were supposed to leave the site by noon Sunday.

Justice Minister Don Morgan said he didn’t want the removal of the camp to be a setback in the government’s relationship with First Nations.

Boushie’s mother, Debbie Baptiste, said the fight continues.

“We’re going to keep setting up our camps. We’re going to keep lighting our fires. We will not stop,” Baptiste said Monday.

“I’m not going to stop until change is made in the courtrooms, in the government.”

The Canadian Press

[SOURCE]

Protesters arrested, Tipi camp dismantled after more than 100 days in Wascana Park

Tipi camp dismantled after more than 100 days in Wascana Park

Several people arrested by Regina police on Monday at the “Justice for our Stolen Children” camp have been released without charges.

The move came as authorities dismantled the tipi in the park on Monday evening.

The camp’s sacred fire went out just after 7 p.m. Officials then took down the camp’s tipi, which was the last structure at the protest.

The rest of the camp was dismantled by police and government officials on Friday morning. Police said they would give campers 48 hours after the dismantling of the camp to extinguish their sacred fire and remove their tipi, but demonstrators decided on Sunday not to leave the scene.

“The agreement was made that the tipi would come down, and that was agreed upon by the campers, and today unfortunately that camp wasn’t taken down, so we’re here to assist with that.” Supt. Darcy Koch told the media.

The camp was erected 111 days ago in response to the acquittal of Gerald Stanley in the death of Colten Boushie, and the acquittal of Raymond Cormier in the death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine.

Members of the camp have said that they want to talk to government officials about their concerns. So far the two groups have not been able to come together for such a meeting.

Minister of Justice Don Morgan said the government expected the tipi to be removed on Sunday and that the park isn’t intended for overnight camping. Morgan said he wasn’t able to comment on the timing of the arrests, since it would be up to police to take those actions.

Morgan added that he didn’t want it to be a setback in the government’s relationship with First Nations in Saskatchewan. He said he will be reaching out to FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in the coming days, and has plans to travel to Red Pheasant First Nation.

According to Morgan, the government is still willing to meet with protestors about the issues raised at the camp.

“You don’t need to have a tent up in Wascana to have a meeting and reach out to government,” Morgan said.

Morgan said he wants to reach out to the campers in the coming days, but will wait until emotions aren’t as high.

CTV Regina

[SOURCE]

Sask. government says Indigenous camp near legislature will ‘disrupt’ Canada Day events

The camp has been set up in front of the Legislature for almost 100 days. Now the provincial government has ordered the campers to leave. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

Camp founder Prescott Demas says he has no plans to pack up

The province has issued an eviction notice to the Justice for our Stolen Children Camp that is set up in Wascana Park across from the Saskatchewan Legislature building.

The Provincial Capital Commission issued a notice to the group — in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice and Regina Police Service — that states the group must cease their activities under the Trespassing Act.

The notice says the tents, the teepee and all other property must be removed by 5:00 p.m. CST Tuesday.

“I’m not leaving,” Prescott Demas, one of the founders of the camp, said Tuesdsay morning. “We want justices for our injustices.”

The camp was formed in the wake of the Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier acquittals, but the camp’s focus is on all Indigenous children and the issues faced by the community.

Prescott Demas is pictured at the camp on June 5, 2018 — just hours before the camp was supposed to be torn down by. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

As of Tuesday, the camp had been set up for 98 days.

​”In the winter, it was so easy to dismiss us,” Demas said.

“But as winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer, they have events planned here. Now that pushes (them) to get us out of here.”

The government first issued notice on the first day of the camp, said Richard Murray, who is deputy minister of Central Services.

“To be honest with you, you know, we’ve kind of looked the other way for the last close to 100 days,” he said.

Prescott Demas said he wasn’t surprised to see the notices stapled to the trees around the camp. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

Government cites Canada Day concerns

Murray said the government has acted now because of upcoming events and the security team scheduled to work Canada Day raised concerns.

There are several activities like a pancake breakfast, a human flag and beer gardens planned for July 1, so the camp’s presence is “extremely disruptive to Canada Day events and you know, we’re just not looking forward to having to move an event that frankly fills the entire park.”

“It’s disruptive. We’re worried about security of everyone in the park on Canada Day and that’s probably an unneeded disruption there.”

Murray spoke with reporters prior to the 5 p.m. deadline and said an “appropriate course of action” would be decided come 5 p.m. should the group remain on the grounds.

Demas said there was an attempt made to meet with government last week  but officials declined to meet in the teepee.

“That was — is — considered to be an inappropriate meeting location on our side,” said Murray.

The government told the group to leave the day the camp was set up, said Richard Murray, deputy minister of Central Services. (Craig Edwards/CBC)

“The teepee in our minds is an illegal activity in the park.”

Murray said he suggested meeting at the Wascana Place as a “neutral location” because it wasn’t the Legislature Building.

He said he is aware the campers don’t plan to leave, but is “hopeful” they will change their minds.

The group could face criminal charges under the Trespassing Act if they don’t, Murray said.

Deputy Minister of Central Services Richard Murray said five events planned for the park were relocated because of the camp. (Craig Edwards/CBC)

Demas said he doesn’t know how long the camp will stick around and is calling on the government to listen to what the group is saying.

“This is all stolen land. That’s how I feel about it,” Demas said.

Kendall Latimer · CBC News

[SOURCE]

‘The world knows his name’: rally for Colten Boushie held in Regina exactly one week after verdict

minute-of-silence

Members of the American Indian movement were part of a one-week rally on Friday night, in which people took a minute to remember and honour the memory of Colten Boushie. (CBC News)

Minute of silence held one week after Gerald Stanley found not guilty in Boushie’s death

One week after the verdict in the Gerald Stanley murder trial came down, people gathered in Regina to remember the death of Colten Boushie.

A group of about 60 walked and sang during the Friday night rally, before making their way to a downtown hall. There, they held one minute of silence at 7:30 p.m., to coincide with the time one week earlier, when a jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty in Boushie’s shooting death.

Satin Denny, eldest sister to Boushie, stood to give a tearful address. She told those gathered how thankful her family members have been for the support of everyone across Canada, following her brother’s death.

“It’s hard; I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” she said.

Several came to the front to embrace Denny, and to speak about their feelings on the treatment of Indigenous people and their feelings on the need for change.

Murray Stonechild stood to describe some of the difficult things he had seen in his lifetime, as a war veteran, and yet how unsafe he and other Indigenous people felt right at home in Saskatchewan in the wake of Boushie’s death.

However, he said he felt something good would come from the sadness and misfortune of Boushie’s death.

“The world is watching. The world knows his name,” he said.

Stonechild said the federal government is now speaking out, recognizing the need for reform of the justice system.

Groups like Colonialism No More and the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism have been trying to support the Boushie family by holding events like the one-week rally, said organizer Michelle Stewart. They continue to hold events to draw awareness to what she called a “two-tiered” justice system.

“I think what we’re doing right now in Regina and across Canada is demonstrating capacity to continue to hold space until something changes,” she said.

“I hope this is a catalyst for change.”

CBC News · Posted: Feb 16, 2018

[SOURCE]

No Charges Against Former Canadian Tire Employee After Assault Allegation by Indigenous Elder

Kamao Cappo at Regina Canadian Tire store

Regina police say no criminal charges will be laid after an Indigenous elder was physically removed from a Canadian Tire store earlier this summer.

Kamao Cappo, 53, of the Muscowpetung First Nation posted a video — that has been viewed more than 1 million times — to social media in July that showed an employee trying to physically removed him from a Regina Canadian Tire store.

Cappo was shopping for a chainsaw when the employee wrongly accused him of stealing, then forced him out of the store.

Cappo reported to police that he’d been assaulted and that he was targeted because he is Indigenous.

The employee lost his job over the incident.

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No charges will be laid

CJME News reports, on Thursday, police announced they’d concluded their investigation and weren’t laying any charges.

Police said the investigation became more complicated due to the claims the employee accused Cappo because he is Indigenous.

“This is a highly sensitive case, we saw that, there was a lot of political communication around there, there was a lot of social media activity about this,” said police Chief Evan Bray.

It was those reasons that police chose to have crown prosecutors look at the case.

No video from store

Police conducted witness interviews, but there was no surveillance video.

Bray said when they handed over their evidence, there was no video from inside the store.

“We did take video from Mr. Cappo, he had video on his personal device that he took, any piece of that we could gather we would but we can’t make up something that’s not there,” Bray said. “When we went to gather it, there was nothing there.”

Cappo was informed of the outcome Thursday.

He says he’s stunned and saddened by the decision.

“It’s a really sad message for our people and our children,” Cappo said.

“Indigenous people experience this on a regular basis and they do not report it … they just accept it. I wanted to show them they could succeed, so this is devastating.”

Cappo says he has yet to receive an official apology from Canadian Tire officials.

By: Black Powder

Canadian Tire Employee Involved In Altercation With Indigenous Elder Loses His Job

Kamo Cappo at a Canadian Tire store in east Regina

By Black Powder | RPM Staff, July 30, 2017

Canadian Tire says employee involved in altercation with Indigenous man at a Regina store is no longer with the company.

Kamao Cappo of the Muscowpetung First Nation posted a video to social media last week that showed an employee trying to physically removed him from the store.

Cappo, an Indigenous elder, said he was shopping for a chainsaw when the employee accused him of stealing.

Cappo disagreed and refused to leave the store.

53-year-old Cappo who has a heart condition was injured in the confrontation.

Cappo told CTV Regina that he believes the fact that he is Indigenous was a factor in the employee’s response.

“The employee involved in the matter has not been working in the store since the incident and he is no longer with Canadian Tire,” the corporation announced Saturday on its official Twitter account.

“We have tried to reach Mr. Cappo again to express our sincere apologies,” said another tweet from Canadian Tire“We take this matter very seriously.”

Protesters gather outside a Regina Canadian Tire store on Friday, July 28, 2017.

About 50 people staged a demonstration outside of the store Friday to show support for Cappo.

Regina police have said they are investigating the incident as an assault.