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Coroner's inquest into 2022 Saskatchewan stabbings begins | Saskatchewan stabbings

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In total, 11 people lost their lives during these attacks and 17 others were injured. (Archive photo)

  • Vincent H. Turgeon (View profile)Vincent H. Turgeon

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The coroner's inquest into the stabbings that occurred on September 4, 2022 in the James Smith Cree First Nation and the village of Weldon, Saskatchewan, begins this Monday.

A total of 11 people lost their lives in these attacks. Seventeen others were injured.

This is the worst stabbing attack to occur in Canada.

The coroner's inquest aims to shed light on the death of the various victims, including the manner, time and place where they were killed. It also aims to offer recommendations to prevent such a tragedy from repeating itself.

I believe it is important to hold such an inquest so that the public, the families of the victims and the residents of James Smith truly know and understand what happened [on September 4, 2022], says the Chief Coroner of Saskatchewan, Clive Weighill.

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The coroner's inquest will take place in Melfort, approximately 40 km from the two communities affected by the tragedy. Proceedings are expected to last two to three weeks.

A jury of six, including three of Indigenous origin, will hear evidence presented Before. Around thirty witnesses are expected.

Police investigators will explain to jury members the events that led to the attacks as well as those that occurred on the day of the tragedy. Forensic doctors will also explain how each of the victims died.

Psychological help will be offered to the victims' relatives and witnesses who feel the need. Indigenous elders will also be on hand to provide more traditional support.

Several members of the James Smith Cree First Nation community are awaiting the start of this investigation with a mixture of impatience and concern.

This is particularly the case of Robert Head, the chief of the Peter Chapman band, who is part of the First Nation.

[Community members] will have to rewatch all the images from this traumatic day. This concerns me a lot, he explained in an interview last week. Healing is a lifelong process, and they are just beginning this journey. So going to the investigation now will bring back their trauma from September 4th.

Several relatives of the victims also hope that this investigation will provide answers to why the main suspect, Myles Sanderson, was at large while he was wanted by the authorities.

A few years before the tragedy, Myles Sanderson had been arrested for assault, theft, mischief and uttering threats.

At the time Upon his statutory release in August 2021, he was to remain under surveillance. However, a few months before the September 2022 attacks, Myles Sanderson had stopped meeting his caseworker and was declared illegally at large.

A second investigation, scheduled for the end of February, will focus on the latter's death, which occurred shortly after his arrest on September 8, 2022, four days after the attacks.

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