Hundreds flooded Regina’s Wascana Park Saturday afternoon for a powwow put on by the Justice for our Stolen Children Camp.
The Trespasser’s Pow Wow: A Pre-Canada Day Celebration included jingle dancers and the addition of two more teepees from Carry the Kettle and Pasqua First Nations.
“I think it’s a catalyst for change in the world,” said volunteer Sean Hall. “It feels super amazing to be part of this start of collective consciousness for a better world for everyone.”
Uniting stories of the missing and murdered
Spokesperson Robyn Pitawanakwatt said the event brought together so many stories of Indigenous murders and missing children.
Debbie Baptiste is among those with a story to tell.
Her son, Colten Boushie, was killed on a farm near Biggar in August 2016. The man accused in his death, Gerald Stanley, was found not guilty in February this year.
Baptiste said the verdict shows now’s the time to voice the injustice of Indigenous peoples and the racism they face.
“We want equal rights in the courtroom, in the justice system, in the hospitals, in the school,” she said. “We’re tired of it. We’re ready to stand up. We’re ready to speak and we’re not gonna shut up.”
Baptiste said she will support the camp, as the camp has supported her in her time of need.
Some of Haven Dubois’ family were also at the powwow.
Haven’s mom found him dead in a creek in Regina’s Glencairn area in May 2015. The 14-year-old’s brother James Dubois said the autopsy claimed their mom found Haven face down, but really she found him on his side.
“(Those in the justice system) don’t do their jobs properly,” said James, adding that the investigation wasn’t accurate.
Michaela Pashe is an 18-year-old Indigenous girl who participated in the powwow wearing a royal blue dress.
She was quite young when her sister, Hillary Wilson, was murdered in August 2009, but remembers her body was found in a ditch outside Winnipeg.
Even though it’s been nine years, Pashe said her case hasn’t been solved.
“It hurts,” she said. “If something like that would’ve happened to me, I don’t know if anything would have been done.”
Protestors have a meeting scheduled in Fort Qu’Appelle on Monday with the provincial government.
Pitawanakwatt said she’s uncertain so far about whether or not the camp will stay up after, but Premier Scott Moe has said he wants the camp taken down following the meeting.