NDP calls for consultation with Indigenous groups on redevelopment of Provincial Capital Commission bylaws

The official opposition is calling on the provincial government to include Indigenous people in meaningful consultation on the Provincial Capital Commission’s new bylaws.

The bylaws are in the process of being redeveloped after a decision from the Court of Queen’s Bench last summer that ruled the bylaws as unconstitutional and that they should be rewritten to account for “Indigenous spiritual ceremony and political expression.”

Betty Nippi-Albright, NDP critic for Truth and Reconciliation, First Nations and Métis relations, made an official call on Monday morning on the west lawn across from the Legislative Building. She spoke about her concern with the lack of consultation after the same bylaws were used or were attempted to be used to remove Indigenous-led ceremonies and demonstrations.

“This is a complete disregard of the government’s own First Nation and Métis Consultation Policy Framework,” stated Nippi-Albright. “There is a legal duty to consult when decisions or actions could have an impact on traditional uses of land for ceremonial purposes.”

In 2018, the government referenced the bylaws to have members of the Regina Police Service remove the Justice for our Stolen Children camp that was set up on the lawn across from legislature. Last summer, the government attempted to move the Walking With Our Angels group out from the same spot in the park when Tristen Durocher walked 635 kilometres from Air Ronge to raise awareness of the high suicide rates in the north.

“Indigenous peoples are protesting for their lives, their children’s lives and their future,” said Nippi-Albright.


Nicole Sarauer, NDP critic for the PCC, suggested the lack of transparency, dialogue and public consultation has been shown by the Sask. Party government since they took control of Wascana Park in 2017 from the Wascana Centre Authority.

“It’s something even the provincial auditor has brought up in her reports which continue to be ignored by the Sask. Party,” said Sarauer. “If concessions can be made in the park for companies like Brandt, then concessions should be able to be made for these folks as well.”

Nippi-Albright has sent a letter to the board chair of the PCC to consult with Indigenous partners on these bylaws before they are released on Thursday.

A petition started in September 2020 requesting the west lawn of Wascana Park be a ceremonial space for Indigenous peoples has garnered over 5,400 signatures online.

More from 620 CKRM