Idle No More, Land Back groups gather in Uptown Waterloo
KITCHENER -- A large crowd filled the street in Uptown Waterloo on Thursday night, calling for Indigenous land rights and reconciliation.
The gathering was organized by Idle No More and Land Back. The groups are asking for action and land from the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. More specifically, they want a gathering space in the community.
"It's really frustrating when you go to other cities and you see these spaces available and yet you don't have that," organizer Shawn Johnston said. "If we want to gather at a place like the Victoria Park pavilion, we have to come up with $500 and a lot of smaller organizations don't have that."
After speeches wrapped up, the crowd moved onto King Street.
One of the groups behind the demonstration is the same group that's been camping out in Victoria Park since late June.
The group wants the cities to waive all fees for Indigenous groups hosting events in public spaces. They also want land in Victoria Park and Waterloo Park returned to Indigenous people to hold traditional ceremonies.
The group is calling for a paid Indigenous advisory committee to work with officials from both cities to help address issues in the community.
Camp organizers said they're prepared to remain in the park until the winter. Their next step is to speak with city councils.