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Former Regina campground to be turned into Indigenous ceremony site


King’s Park Campground in Regina hasn’t seen campers in a long time. However, life might soon return to the space in the form of an Indigenous ceremonial site.

After a moving delegation from Elder Harry Francis, the recommendation was to move forward to permanently designate the space for ceremony.

“Right now, I’m so happy I don’t know how to explain it, because it’s something that a lot of us always thought about, but working on forming a partnership with the city and the city staff … at the back of my mind is, ‘Is it gonna fly?’ I was always worried is this gonna fly or is it not gonna fly,” he said.

It did in fact fly in the form of a unanimous vote from those in attendance at city council on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of urban Indigenous who are looking for connection to identity and ceremony and their culture. We have an elder’s advisory council now to administration as well as council that is saying this looks like a good idea, we got a plan for implementation over five years,” Regina Mayor Sandra Masters said following the decision.

Elder Francis additionally explained that the space, while designated for Indigenous ceremony, is open to everyone, a lesson of inclusion which he learned from his grandfather and other community elders during his youth.

“They always said, ‘We welcome all human beings because all human beings are children of the creator, children of God and that if they come with us and they wanna follow our way, we are to accept them” Francis said.

The five year plan of the site’s development includes eight sweats in year one and collaboration between council and the elder’s advisory committee to determine rules for the space.

“Because we’ve started off in a good way with a pipe ceremony and a sweat, with that continual elder’s advice coming in to us that we can set something up that will be enduring,” Masters said.

Now, the motion will be moved along for council approval at their upcoming meeting on May 8. Top Stories

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