New court date in Saskatchewan’s fight to get teepee off legislature lawn

REGINA — The Saskatchewan government's request to have an Indigenous man's teepee removed from the lawn at the legislature has been put over and will be heard in court a few days before he plans to end his protest.

Provincial lawyers have 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 walked more than 600 kilometres to Regina from a community in northern Saskatchewan to call for legislative action to address high suicide rates among First Nations people.

Durocher's lawyer told court by phone that she plans to file materials for a constitutional question.

Eleanore Sunchild says her client plans to leave the legislature grounds on Sept. 13.

The hearing was put over to Sept. 4

A lawyer for the province requested the hearing happen as soon as possible, because it could become moot. The lawyer also said Durocher is in violation of a 2018 court order stemming from another protest.

That year, a group set up on the same section of lawn what it called the Justice For Our Stolen Children camp. That protest came after acquittals in the high-profile deaths of two Indigenous young people, 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Aug. 13, 2020

The Canadian Press