Indigenous demonstrators erect teepee on Parliament Hill to protest Canada Day

Ten people arrested and later released

OTTAWA — A large teepee erected by indigenous demonstrators to kick off a four-day Canada Day protest was standing in front of Parliament Hill early Thursday just hours after their initial attempt was thwarted by police.

Police had blocked the group just inside the gates to Parliament Hill on Wednesday evening as demonstrators carried wooden poles on their shoulders to erect a teepee.

Both sides had refused to budge and a spokeswoman at the scene said 10 people were briefly held in custody before being released. Demonstrators initially said about 15-20 people had been taken into custody.

Candace Day Neveau, from a group called the Bawating Water Protectors that arrived in Ottawa from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Wednesday, said those arrested were ordered to stay away from Parliament Hill for six months.

Videos posted on social media showed RCMP officers dragging away at least one person as others chanted “shame” and “let our people go!” Police had also erected a barricade to prevent anyone from going further up the Hill.

However, Day Neveau later said demonstrators intended to carry through with their plan to erect a teepee. Photographs on social media early Thursday showed a large tan-coloured teepee had been erected inside a barricade in front of the Parliament buildings.

Organizers say the demonstration marked the first day of a “reoccupation” ceremony to counter Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations because Indigenous Peoples have little reason to celebrate colonization.

Jessica Bolduc, who was with the Sault Ste. Marie group, said they wanted to build a teepee on what is unceded Algonquin territory.

Bolduc said it is also about recognizing there is much work to do before anyone can say Canada had achieved reconciliation.

“I think Canada has one sort of view and way in which they engage with the world around them and then there is the Indigenous experience,” said Bolduc.

“We talk about this smart and caring nation, but don’t acknowledge that those privileges aren’t afforded to indigenous peoples in the same way that they are to folks who have settled here, whether that was 200 years ago or to people who we are welcoming here today in a ceremony of becoming Canadian,” she said.

The demonstration was being held across from the former Langevin Block, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had renamed as the Office of the Prime Minister and the Privy Council on June 21.

He said the change reflected what he called the “deep pain”felt by indigenous communities over having the building named after Hector-Louis Langevin, a father of Confederation and an architect of the residential school system.

Just Posted

New Alberta dental fee guide calls for 8.5% reduction in fees

A new dental fee guide has been announced in Alberta that the… Continue reading

Lacombe ready to light the night

The Christmas spirit comes to Lacombe Thursday night with the start of… Continue reading

Opioid prescriptions up across country, but daily doses dispensed down: report

TORONTO — The overall number of prescriptions for opioids has increased over… Continue reading

Notley pleads with political foes, allies to support Alberta pipeline projects

OTTAWA — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley issued warnings to all political parties… Continue reading

Uber isn’t saying how many Canadians were affected by year-old hack

TORONTO — Uber is owning up to a year-old security breach that… Continue reading

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer: Nov. 19

Watch news highlights from the week of Nov. 13

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Update: Innisfail girl found

A 15-year-old missing Innisfail girl has been located safe and sound. Police… Continue reading

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million, auditor general says

The federal government’s chronic salary struggles will take more time and more… Continue reading

Red Deer Christmas Bureau to help 1,300 children this year

Demand is high, but Red Deer always provides

CP Holiday train makes stops in Central Alberta

The popular train will feature entertainment from Colin James and Emma-Lee

Kittens rescued after allegedly being tossed from vehicle

Couple finds abandoned kittens new home through Facebook

VIDEO: ‘Party bus’ goes up in flames in Vancouver

Fire crews responded to the late night blaze

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month