FSIN 'disappointed' with government's legal action against justice camp

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FSIN 'disappointed' with government's legal action against justice camp

FSIN 'disappointed' with government's legal action against justice camp

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says the government should not be using a court order to remove the Justice For Our Stolen Children Camp. 

Earlier this week, the provincial government took legal action against the camp by requesting a court order to have the camp removed. 

Documents filed by the government ask the court to direct campers to "cease occupying the Land" and that any orders made "be directed to the Chief of Police of the Regina Police Service."

"The provincial government should not be using the Regina Police and Chief Evan Bray to interfere with a peaceful gathering of First Nations people," said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in a news release.

He said rather than taking legal action against the camp, this is an opportunity to implement changes in the justice and social services systems.

"Our people face more than just poverty and racism within provincial systems. We need to work together to find solutions and that's exactly what these peaceful gatherers want," he said.

Ministers from the government met with the camp on July 2 to discuss the camp's concerns but the government said it currently doesn't have plans for a follow up meeting, at least until the teepees are taken down.

However, FSIN said they're hopeful dialogues will progress even with the requested court order.

"These discussions are desperately needed to advance the issues and challenges that First Nations peoples face in Saskatchewan, in child welfare, in justice and other areas as well," said FSIN Vice Chief David Pratt.

In a statement sent to CBC last week, government minister Ken Cheveldayoff said if the order is granted the government expects the police to help with enforcement. 

Regina Police Services said it will not comment on the legal action.

The Justice For Our Stolen Children camp launched its own legal action in response to arrests that took place at the camp last month, saying the protest is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that the June arrests were unconstitutional.

The Ministry of Justice expects the application for the government's court order will be heard the same time as the justice camp's legal action. A hearing date is set for Aug. 23.