ontario news watch

National chief calls Ottawa to return to policing talks after mass stabbing inquest

SASKATOON — The Assembly of First Nations national chief said a coroner’s inquest into a mass stabbing shows Ottawa must return to the table to negotiate long-promised legislation declaring First Nations policing an essential service.

Cindy Woodhouse says if there had been a First Nations police service on the James Smith Cree Nation, the rampage could have been avoided. 

Myles Sanderson killed 11 people and injured 17 others on the First Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon in September 2022. 

He died in police custody a few days later.

An inquest into the killings released more than two dozen recommendations Wednesday, including one for the First Nation to establish a local police force in a timely fashion. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised his government would bring forward a new First Nations policing law in 2020 but Woodhouse says the legislation remains stalled.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 1, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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