Protest Teepee Erected Outside Parliament Hill for Canada 150
Indigenous rights activists have managed to erect a large teepee on Parliament Hill, to begin a four-day Canada Day protest meant to raise awareness about the federal government’s treatment of indigenous peoples.
The teepee went up in the early hours of Thursday, after a an hours-long standoff between the activists and police.
The group of roughly 80 demonstrators attempted to enter the gates of Parliament Hill Wednesday evening, carrying wooden poles on their shoulders, but RCMP, Ottawa Police and Parliament Hill security moved in to block them.
Both sides refused to budge for several hours. Videos posted on social media showed RCMP officers dragging away at least one person as others chanted "Shame" and "Let our people go!"
Eventually, 10 people were taken into custody and released shortly afterward. Candace Day Neveau, from a group called the Bawating Water Protectors, said those arrested were ordered to stay away from Parliament Hill for six months.
The teepee was eventually erected early Thursday morning just inside Parliament Hill gates, near the East Block.
More than 500,000 are expected to flock to Parliament Hill on Saturday for Canada Day celebrations and concerts, where armed police and surveillance cameras are expected to keep watch.
For now, the Hill is still open to the public, but by Saturday morning, roads will be closed, barriers set up, and all those looking to gather on the Hill will need to go through security screenings.
It’s not clear how the teepee and the activists will affect the Parliament Hill celebrations, if they are allowed to stay.