The Justice for our Stolen Children Camp needs to leave Wascana Park.
A Court Of Queen’s Bench judge ordered the camp Friday to vacate the grounds the camp has occupied since February outside the Saskatchewan Legislature immediately.
Should the protesters refuse to, court documents released say police do have the authorization to move forward with arresting and removing those who are knowingly violating the court order by staying in the park.
“What’s hard for us right now is that the issues that we’ve brought forward in this camp are still not being heard,” said camp spokeswoman Robyn Pitawanakwat. “I think that is the most frustrating part of this decision is that right now, we want the focus to be on the issues of Indigenous youth and Indigenous children and the lack of justice that they have here in the province of Saskatchewan.”
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Upon learning of the court’s decision, Saskatchewan’s Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission Ken Cheveldayoff said:
“We are pleased with the decision made by the Court. We expect the Justice for our Stolen Children Camp will abide by the Court Order and remove the tepees and other structures from Wascana Centre within a reasonable time. If they fail to obey the court order, the order gives the Wascana Centre Authority and the police the full authority to remove these structures.”
“Again, we are fully supportive of peaceful protests but the act of overnight camping, burning combustibles and erecting structures in the park cannot be done without the proper permits and approvals, as confirmed by today’s court order.”
This position didn’t surprise Pitawanakwat.
“I think he’s been fairly clear about his stance on the camp throughout. We would like him to focus on the issues that we’re bringing forward, we would like those addressed.”
Pitawanakwat also noted they’re speaking with their legal counsel and there’s an open line of communication with the Government of Saskatchewan and they do intend on remaining on Legislative grounds through the weekend.
Back on June 15th, the camp was dismantled, after an eviction notice from the Provincial Capital Commission was not complied with. On June 18th, police moved in and arrested six campers.
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The Regina Police Service has also commented on the ruling, indicating Chief Evan Bray’s first action will be to read the decision through thoroughly, reflect on it and consult with stakeholders.
(with files from Brandon Graziano and David Boles)