Self-declared queen moves to Richmound

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in a black and white photograph a white-haired male addresses a group of seated individuals seen from behind
Richmond Mayor Brad Miller acts as a unifying voice at an RCMP open forum with residents on Tuesday, October 10th allister white

Saskatchewan village protests cult residency in locale

by allister white, contributor

Romana Didulo is the self-declared queen of what she and her followers call the “Kingdom of Canada.” On the Kingdom of Canada website, she states that she is Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, Head of Government, National Indigenous Chief, and President. All of the aforementioned claims are blatantly untrue.  

The followers of the cult are very active, threatening journalists, townspeople, and children in Richmound, SK. “This town is being controlled by a group of people so right-wing and gullible… it’s shameful, it’s horrible,” one resident of the village said in an open forum with local Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). 

The cult has been present in Richmound since mid-September and has been staying in the village’s former school, now privately owned by Rick Manz. Christine Sarteschi, an associate professor at Chatham University, spoke to CBC News on October 6, estimating that up to 12 followers are with Didulo in the village of Richmound.  

In the ex-schoolyard where owner Rick Manz is hosting the cult, the Carillon took note of two RVs and multiple SUVs at the school on Tuesday, October 10. The so-called ‘Kingdom of Canada’ were invited by the property owner and have since blocked the building off with ‘No Trespassing’ signs, twine, and tape. 

When the Carillon drove past the building formerly known as Oasis School, our vehicle was filmed and was met with hostile glares from a male in his late 40s standing in front of an SUV bearing the ‘Kingdom of Canada’ logo. These anti-media attitudes and behaviours are mirrored in the cult’s decrees and policies. They believe that CBC and other news outlets receiving government funding should be defunded, accusing these outlets along with local media of “misinform[ing] the people to cover-up their involvement” in what the group calls a “COVID scamdemic.”  

Numerous calls for service after the cult moved into Richmound’s former school led to the RCMP’s creation of a mobile detachment in the village. This detachment is staffed 24/7 and has been in Richmound in its current posture since October 6. The creation of a mobile detachment has allowed the RCMP to provide enhanced patrols which include license and registration checks on vehicles moving in and out of Didulo’s compound.  

In addition to enhanced patrols, there are ongoing investigations by RCMP into the Kingdom of Canada’s presence in Richmound as well as conduct by members of the cult. In an open forum on October 10, citizens voiced concerns.  

They claimed that members of the cult were walking through alleyways at night, looking into windows, and filming residents. Many felt that their safety and freedoms are being infringed upon by the behaviour of the cult, while many more expressed concerns about a ‘meet-and-greet’ taking place on October 14. RCMP district commander Tyler Bates explained that investigations into reports are ongoing, and that residents should document what they can but not engage with members of the cult.  

On Wednesday, October 12, property owner Manz was arrested after a report was received by the RCMP of an assault on another man. The assault was reported to the Leader RCMP detachment on October 7, and an official investigation determined that an altercation took place and that there were no reported injuries. Manz will appear in court in Leader, SK on November 16.  

In 2018, the Village of Richmound enacted its second bylaw to provide for the abatement of nuisances within the village. The bylaw defines nuisances as “property, activities, or things that adversely affect the safety, health, or welfare of people in the neighbourhood, people’s use and enjoyment of their property, or the amenity of a neighbourhood.”  

Aside from behaviour that Bates explains may constitute criminal harassment, the cult likely violates this village bylaw. If a notice of violation is served, the fine is $250 to be paid to the village. Failure to comply with the bylaw can lead to fines of up to $25,000 and, for continuing offences, a daily fine of up to $2,500. The village office would not comment on the cult’s potential violation of the bylaw.  

The Kingdom of Canada’s presence has had adverse effects on many of the people who call the village of Richmound their home. For one, the village has blocked off a public playground in proximity to the former Oasis School due to fears that children may be confronted by cultists. A local independent journalist, Thomas Fougere, reported to CBC that “a man connected to the cult recently took down the tape.”  

During an RCMP open forum with citizens of Richmound, Jennifer Smith – a resident of the village – shared words from her daughter, who “just want[ed] to go to the playground, but that crazy lady is there.” Other citizens echoed concerns about the cult’s presence affecting their children’s lives, with many upset that their children cannot play at the park, and many others concerned about their safety at the Fox Valley School in a nearby community east of Richmound where many children attend classes.  

Another resident, Jody Smith, voiced his intention to go about his life. “I will remain vigilant – not vigilante,” he explained to the crowd at the forum, going on to say that he will take his granddaughter trick-or-treating on Halloween despite the cult’s presence. Bates has repeatedly asserted that there is “no imminent threat” to the people of Richmound.  

Prior to their stay in Richmound, the Kingdom of Canada cult was staying on private property, without permission, in Kamsack, Saskatchewan. Over a six-hour period in mid-September, townspeople protested the presence of the cult and the RCMP escorted a plethora of RVs and SUVs out of the town.  

Kamsack mayor Nancy Brunt explained that the people of Kamsack, like the citizens of Richmound, have “immense” pride in their town. The village of Richmound conducted one peaceful protest concerning the cult’s residency in the town, with little to no avail. Brad Miller, the mayor of the village, organized a second peaceful protest from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday the 14.  

The protest had remarkable support, with over 40 vehicles joining in to drive circles around the school while chanting, honking, and revving motors. Other protesters held signs, some declaring that “royal decrees are lying disease,” with others pleading for the cult to “Leave Now” and “get OUT!!” 

From the revved motors to Richmound mayor Brad Miller’s press conference, the message throughout the weekend remained consistent. ‘The Kingdom of Canada’ is not welcome in Richmound; or possibly anywhere in Saskatchewan.  

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