Indigenous youth of Saskatoon along with IJAC (Indigenous Joint Action Coalition) established a soft blockade camp on Canada Pacific railway in the inner city. This camp was set up with the support, guidance and protocol of Wet’suwet’en youth & Hereditary Chiefs, and was applauded by the Mohawk land defenders in Tyendinaga and Kahnawake.
The camp went up on February 22nd 2020 and lasted until February 25th 2020, lasting three nights and four days. The youth chose to close the camp after four days, as to reflect the four rounds in a ceremonial sweat, which serve to represent the four seasons in a year, four directions, four colours of the medicine wheel, four elements of life, etc.
All throughout the night, the young Land Defenders stayed and braved frigid temperatures while ensuring the camps ceremonial fire remain lit. All while going to their daily obligations in the morning.
While fascist and petro-nationalists came to counter the peaceful demonstration during the first day, many local antifascists arrived to put themselves between the Land Defenders & counter protesters, quickly outnumbering them and causing the reactionaries to leave within an hour.
Various grassroots activist allies, community members and antifascists remained throughout the course of the camp in solidarity and offered support by engaging in night-watch, singing ceremonial songs, and dropping off supplies to the camp in great surplus. Because of the excess in supplies, the camp also successfully operated as a community outreach center which provided inner city community members with food, coffee, winter attire, blankets, etc.
This action was a great success, effectively delaying all trains on the line by many hours and sustaining peacefully for a substantial amount of time in Saskatoon’s violent, reactionary climate.
The four day camp was closed just as beautifully as it operated: ceremonially with prayer, hugs, and healing tears until the sacred fire extinguished itself according to protocol. The Land Defenders took coals from the fire to use for igniting another sacred fire the next time a sustained action takes place in the city, and rest assured it will.