Chief says healing needed after stabbing deaths and four day manhunt

Chief Wally Burns

JAMES SMITH CREE NATION- The chief of a Saskatchewan First Nation shattered by a deadly series of stabbings says acts of violence must stop.

Chief Wally Burns of the James Smith Cree Nation spoke alongside other First Nations leaders this morning, one day after RCMP arrested a suspect.

Burns says words cannot express the effects of what has happened, and the many families who have lost loved ones need support.

The key suspect in the rampage that left 10 people dead and 18 injured died in police custody following a four-day manhunt.

RCMP say Myles Sanderson went into medical distress shortly after being pursued in a stolen vehicle and arrested in a ditch beside a highway north of Saskatoon.

The only other suspect, Sanderson’s brother Damien, was found dead Monday and RCMP say the motive behind the killings may never be truly known.

The Indigenous leaders are being joined by RCMP and some federal cabinet ministers, including Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino.

The First Nation gathered for the first wake since the attacks on Wednesday evening as community members prepare for more in the coming days.

Three teepees have been set up behind the James Smith Cree Nation’s school. They were put up following the stabbing attacks for people to have ceremony, find healing and honour those who lost their lives.

As community members gathered for Thursday’s speeches behind the school, many hugged and shook hands. Many of the women wore Indigenous ribbon skirts.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2022.



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