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Regina chapter supports “Colonialism No More” camp

Council of Canadians Regina chapter activist Jim Elliott talks with Sue Deranger at the Colonialism No More – Solidarity Camp on Day 79. Facebook photo by Darin Milo.

The Council of Canadians Regina chapter supports the Colonialism No More – Solidarity Camp, which is now in its 80th day of being in place in front of the INAC (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) office in Regina (Treaty 4 territory).

On July 3, the Regina Leader Post reported, “Now with 11 tents, plus a teepee and a large white tent containing tables with coffee, water, informational posters and other items, the Colonialism No More Solidarity Camp has shifted in size and number since the camp-out protest launched on April 15. But some things haven’t changed — and therein lies the problem. Prescott Demas, spokesman for the group on Sunday, said while the group is pleased with the talks it continues to have with [INAC] real change needs to come before protesters go anywhere.”

The newspaper notes, “While the group’s demands have been revised over time, they have remained relatively stable in terms of wanting INAC to address issues like revoking the Indian Act, upholding and honouring the treaties, and issues plaguing reserves like poverty, housing and education concerns, inadequate drinking water and lack of job opportunities.” Earlier this week, Global News noted, “Colonialism No More lists their long-term demands as follows: that the true spirit and intent of the Treaties be upheld; that the Treaty rights of urban, off-reserve Indigenous peoples be respected and upheld; and that the Indian Act be revoked.”

Sue Deranger, a spokesperson for the camp, says, “We’re tired of the suicides. We’re tired of the poverty, the water that’s not drinkable.”

CBC reports, “INAC said it has met with the group eight times over the past two months. The group is refusing to move until it sees some progress on its requests.” Demas says, “We don’t want to look back one year later and find out that all of these issues that we’ve talked about are still sitting on the back burner and nothing’s done about them. We want to make sure that the ball gets rolling and things start to happen before this camp actually does pack up. …Everybody here, we’ve been here for so long that they’ve put a lot of effort and a lot of their heart and their soul into this, that nobody wants to leave without something actually happening.”

There are presently concerns that Anderson Builders Group 1989 Inc., the property manager for the building that houses the INAC office, has plans to evict the group. Deranger says, “Personally, I don’t think we need to leave. We’re not protesting the land owner. Our issue is with INAC, the tenant. This camp has received a lot of support from all walks of life. You can walk down the sidewalk, you can get in the door. We’re not blocking anything and in fact everything but the tipi is off their property line.”

If you are in the Regina area, please support the Colonialism No More – Solidarity Camp which is situated at 1827 Albert Street near 11th Avenue.

For more, please see their Facebook page and their Twitter feed.

Further reading
Regina chapter in solidarity with Colonialism No More camp (May 13, 2016 – Day 26)