Charges dropped against Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam

22 Mar 2019

Photo Credit: (Under Creative Commons license) A bench by the shore of Delaronde Lake, Saskatchewan by Brandon Giesbrecht

A judge in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan dismissed charges against Sylvia McAdam, one of the founders of indigenous protest group Idle No More, on Wednesday.

McAdam and her brother Kurtis had been charged with building a cabin on ancestral territory she said has been inhabited by her family for generations and that was intended to be set aside as reserve land.

They were issued a notice by the province in 2017 for “unlawfully occupying park land.” After the family failed to comply with the notice, conservation officers started removing items from the site in May 2017.

“My family has always lived there,” Sylvia McAdam said outside the provincial court, according to newspaper reports. “For the province to create a park there in violation of Treaty 6, it’s problematic.”

Since 2012, the family, which says it previously had a cabin on the land that burned down in 1994, has held meetings with provincial government organizations about building a permanent cabin in the area.

Her lawyer, Larry Kowalchuk, said the family hopes to work out an agreement with the government for use of the land.

McAdam says she hopes to be able to live back on the property some day.

“That’s where I grew up,” she said.

The location of the cabin they were building was on the west side of Delaronde Lake, a 40-minute drive from Big River First Nation where they are registered members, about 200 km north of the provincial capital Saskatoon.

Learn more about this story:

Charges against Idle No More  co-founder dropped

Charges dismissed agains Idle No More founders

Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations

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