ontario news watch

Mendicino to visit James Smith Cree Nation after of stabbing massacre

DARTMOUTH, N.S. — The federal public safety minsiter says he is to travel to James Smith Cree Nation next week to advance the Liberal government’s plan to have First Nations policing recognized as an essential service. 

Marco Mendicino says policing by Indigenous Peoples for Indigenous Peoples is a key part of reconciliation.

He says he has been speaking with his provincial counterpart in Saskatchewan, Christine Tell, and Indigenous leaders about the issue. 

The minister says steps need to be taken to ensure a tragedy like what occurred on James Smith Cree Nation never happens again. 

On Sept. 4, 11 people were killed and 18 others were injured in a stabbing massacre on the First Nation and nearby village of Weldon. 

James Smith Chief Wally Burns has since lobbied the federal government to have its own police service, a healing lodge and more supports for mental health and addictions. 

The federal government has said it would introduce a bill this fall to ensure First Nations can have their own police officers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2022

The Canadian Press