2 tipis erected in Wascana Park to amplify Walking with our Angels' message
REGINA -- Two tipis were erected on the east lawn of the Legislative Building on Thursday as part of a team-building event for the Unifor 1-S Aboriginal and Workers of Colour Committee, and to show their solidarity with the Walking with our Angels camp.
They were just across the garden from Tristen Durocher’s Walking with our Angels ceremony. The two demonstrations are not connected, but the executive director with the committee said they support the Walking with our Angels camp.
“I really hope that people understand the issues that have been highlighted by the Walking with our Angels camp,” said Don Wren, the executive director of the Unifor 1-S Aboriginal and Workers of Colour Committee. “That was part of our intent when we talked about setting up. We wanted to help amplify their message, and while we’re separate, we stand in solidarity.”
Wren said when he organized the event, he didn’t realize it fell on World Suicide Prevention Day.
“There was no plans what so ever to have the event on this day, it was just a day I picked,” Wren said. “It just happened to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day.”
Unifor set up one tipi, and put out an invitation to anyone else who wanted to set one up for the day.
Prescott Demas, who was involved with the Justice for our Stolen Children camp in 2018, decided to set up his tipi to help raise awareness for suicide prevention and show support for Durocher.
On July 31, 24-year-old Durocher walked more than 600 kilometres to Regina from Air Ronge to call for legislative action to address high suicide rates in the province.
He erected a tipi when he arrived, and has been participating in a ceremonial fast ever since. He has always planned to go for 44 days, which will wrap up on Sunday.
There is currently a pending court decision on whether or not he will have to leave sooner, as the province filed to have him removed for breaking park bylaws.
Kristin Dunn, a family friend of Durocher’s who has been involved in the ceremony, said the show of support by erecting other tipis is appreciated.
“These acts of solidarity are actually a daily occurrence, and that’s one more manifestation of solidarity,” she said. “People are coming here and they’re sharing the same sentiments as that camp over there. They’re incensed, they want their government to do better.”
The Unifor Committee applied for a permit with the Provincial Capital Commission to erect tipis at their event, and received the permits. They are expected to be gone by the end of the day on Thursday.