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James Smith attacks: Indigenous leaders criticize national committee investigation | Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar14,2024

James Smith attacks: Indigenous leaders criticize national committee investigation | Saskatchewan stabbings

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A national committee has made 14 recommendations after an investigation into the statutory release of Myles Sanderson. (Archive photo)

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The Chief of the Cree Nation James Smith, Wally Burns, is disappointed that his community was 'left out' of a national panel's investigation into the statutory release of Myles Sanderson.

On Tuesday, a national committee made 14 recommendations following its investigation, 4 to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and 10 to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). .

Canada chose to conduct an investigation and make recommendations focused on indigenous detainees without us, deplores Wally Burns in a press release published Tuesday.

Myles Sanderson, who was a member of the Cree community, had a history of violent attacks and was granted statutory release some time before the attacks on September 4, 2022, which left 11 dead and 17 injured in Saskatchewan.

Statutory release occurs when an offender has served two-thirds of their prison sentence.

On September 4, 2022, Myles Sanderson stabbed 11 people, including his brother, Damien Sanderson, and injured 17 others in the James Smith Cree Nation and the neighboring village of Weldon, Saskatchewan. This is the worst stabbing attack in Canadian history.

A three-day manhunt followed until, on September 7, the police spotted the stolen car in which Myles Sanderson was traveling near from the village of Rosthern, 66 km northeast of Saskatoon.

Shortly after his arrest, the fugitive found himself in state of respiratory distress. Paramedics were called to the scene to take him to a Saskatoon hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead.

Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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Knife attacks in Saskatchewan

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In a joint statement, the James Smith Cree Nation, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations of Saskatchewan (FSIN) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) call on the SCC and the PBC to include the governments of First Nations in discussions about reforming policies and laws that affect their people.

We do not want another community to experience the same human losses as us.

A quote from Wally Burns, Chief of the James Smith Cree Nation

We have looked at the failures of the CSC and the PBC and see many opportunities to improve public safety, Wally Burns also notes.

The press release states in particular that the SCC and the CLCC chose not to make their report public so that it could be used in the investigations carried out by the coroner, [their] lawyers [having] refused to answer questions concerning the report during investigations.

To date, Canada has ignored calls from the James Smith Cree Nation for a national inquiry to examine the impact of the justice system on Indigenous peoples, says the press release.

For his part, the head of the FSIN, Bobby Cameron, considers that the absence of indigenous leaders in this report goes to the #x27;contrary to the federal government's fundamental principle of reconciliation.

Statistics show that approximately 80% of inmates in the Prairie region are Aboriginal. It is therefore insulting for us not to have been consulted, says Mr. Cameron.

This is the opportunity for our governments to collaborate in the search for solutions. We demand and expect Canada to keep the promises it made to the First Nations and to include us, he adds.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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