The AMC Chiefs, Deputy Grand Chief, and AFN Regional Chief Offer Condolences Regarding the Tragedy in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan
September 6, 2022
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba –The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Regional Chief mourn the numerous murders and assaults committed this past weekend in James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby town of Weldon, Saskatchewan and come together in a joint statement of support to the affected communities.
AMC Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean and AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse extend their condolences to the victims’ families, the James Smith Cree Nation, the Chakastaypasin Band, and the Peter Chapman Band as they face a state of emergency declared by their three elected leaders. The communities remain on high alert until the final suspect, Myles Sanderson, who remains at large, is located.
The AMC and AFN support the leadership in this time of mourning and trauma and offer their sincere condolences. Further, the AMC and AFN support and reaffirms the demands of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief Bobby Cameron, calling upon the Saskatchewan authorities to prioritize the drug epidemic. Governments need to start listening to First Nations and flow immediate funding for rehabilitation services, funding support for community wellness and following the lead of First Nations in how to build safer and healthier communities where First Nations developed, and governed healing programs can prevent drug-fueled rampages such as this.
“We are all affected by the immense violence this community has faced. It would be nothing short of traumatic to be trapped in your community in fear of this man who is still out there while mourning the loss of so many innocent lives,” said AMC Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean. “As First Nations, we always come together in times of need to help one another in mourning and grief. It is a heartbreak felt across Turtle Island and all Nations.”
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families who lost loved ones and to all the people affected by these senseless acts of violence,” AFN Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse said, “First Nations in Manitoba hold all of you in our thoughts and prayers. May we all come together in the coming days and months to work for as long as we need for security, healing, and peace.”
AMC and AFN encourage everyone to be diligent in their safety by following the advice of the police by not picking up hitchhikers and not approaching suspicious persons. Always maintain your personal safety and distance and call the authorities with any information regarding Myles Sanderson’s whereabouts.