A Regina judge is to hear a request from the Saskatchewan government today for the removal of a young man’s teepee from the legislature’s lawn.
Provincial lawyers filed an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench seeking a court order to have Tristen Durocher’s camp forced out of Wascana Park.
The 24-year-old Indigenous man walked more than 600 kilometres to Regina from a community in northern Saskatchewan to call for legislative action to address high suicide rates in the region.
Durocher, who is on a tea fast until mid-September, says grieving families have been coming to the site.
Court documents filed by the province say the man doesn’t have a permit and that overnight camping and fires are prohibited in the park.
The documents say Durocher has been made aware of the rules and Regina police won’t enforce them without a court order.
In its application, the government says the camp poses “public health and safety risks” and those who are there “have no intention of abiding by the reasonable limitations on the use of public space.”
It’s the second time in two years that the government has gone to court to get Indigenous protesters and teepees off that section of lawn.
In 2018, a group set up what it called the Justice For Our Stolen Children camp after acquittals in the high-profile deaths of Indigenous youth Colten Boushie in Saskatchewan and Tina Fontaine in Manitoba.
Protesters spent months there calling attention to racial injustice and the high number of Indigenous children in care, until a judge ordered the camp dismantled.