Those opposed to a proposed housing development in South Lincoln have staged a more permanent protest.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 11:41 a.m. CDT
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Those opposed to a housing development project in South Lincoln have staged a more permanent protest.
A developer wants to develop 500 housing units near First and Pioneers Streets, which will include family homes and apartments.
To protest against a recent measure passed by the city council which gave the green light to the development, the demonstrators set up more than half a dozen teepees on the future site.
“It’s an incredible wave of community support for our efforts here,” said Kevin Abourezk, a leader with the group.
The group said it was about starting a dialogue and having Indigenous voices at the table, citing that when it comes to Wilderness Crossing, they weren’t included before it was probably too late.
“if we had a seat at the table during the overall planning process during the planning commission process,” Abourezk said. “So we could have at least let people know that the sweat lodge site was here.”
The group said their biggest concerns were the sacred sweat lodges opposite the development – which have existed on the land for around a hundred years.
“I am concerned about the impact of so many developments on such a calm, serene and sanctified place as our sweat lodge,” Abourezk said.
On Tuesday afternoon, they met Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird who has the power to veto the council’s decision.
“She didn’t say whether she would or not,” Abourezk said.
A representative for the mayor told news partner NCN 10/11 Now that she does not have a statement on the matter.
The band said they weren’t sure what would happen next. They say it’s likely they’ll discuss it late into Tuesday night to see if they’ll continue to stay on the site longer.