The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations says it will take a few days to analyze and review in detail all the recommendations coming from a coroner’s inquest into the stabbing massacre at the James Smith Cree Nation.
Myles Sanderson killed 11 people and injured 17 others in the early morning hours of September 4, 2022.
A total of 29 recommendations were made on Wednesday following a two-and-a-half week-long inquest examining the massacre. They aim to prevent similar deaths from happening again. There were recommendations for the RCMP, Correctional Service of Canada, as well as the James Smith Cree Nation.
During a Thursday afternoon news conference in Saskatoon, FSIN Third Vice Chief Ally Bear says the community and victim’s families also need to be included in the process, but there is one item at the top of her list—-RCMP response times.
JSCN Chief Wally Burns says all levels of government and policing must come together to ensure the 29 recommendations are brought to fruition. He says tragedies like this could be mitigated with additional federal funding for a First Nations policing system.
National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Cindy Woodhouse, says the tragedy could have been avoided with stable and equitable funding. She says the event was a systemic failure of the police and justice systems.
“It took the RCMP 22 minutes to reach the community after numerous 9-1-1 calls came into the RCMP detachment. That response time would be unacceptable if it was a non-First Nations community.”
The recommendations suggest that the Federal Ministry of Public Safety should create a new category of dangerous offenders, Correctional Service of Canada should hire more workers in federal prisons, RCMP should make sure any photos of people in the police database have a date clearly marked on them, and JSCN should mandate that all houses have numbers posted on them, all streets have proper signs, and maps are updated and distributed to emergency workers.
The FSIN says it is grateful to frontline workers for their dedication during the mass stabbing, however, it wants the federal government to act and address the tragedy as it deserves to be.