James Smith Cree Nation Marks Mass Stabbing Anniversary, Lauded for Resilience


The James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan solemnly remembers the first anniversary of a horrifying mass stabbing incident that took the lives of 11 individuals and left 17 more injured.

A year ago, after four painstaking days of search that echoed through the Village of Weldon and James Smith, law enforcement officers apprehended the suspect, Myles Sanderson. However, Sanderson lost his life while in police custody. He managed to dodge the police for days by resorting to theft of vehicles and continual movement on foot. The RCMP distributed multiple emergency warnings to inform the local populace about the potential locations of Sanderson.

In the coming Monday, a private service commemorating the victims is planned, culminated by a vigil adorned with candlelight. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) has hailed the James Smith Cree Nation for the remarkable resilience demonstrated in the heart-rending twelve months since the tragedy.

As we draw near the first anniversary of this terrorizing event that sent shockwaves through our local society and the nation as a whole, the words of FSIN fourth vice chief Heather Bear resonate: “This is just one page of many chapters in terms of the ongoing healing and the ongoing development.”

A grim reminder of the terrifying day is the fact that it took the police nearly 40 minutes to reach the location after the initial 911 call on September 4, 2022.

Taking proactive measures, James Smith Cree Nation has now employed 28 full-time security officers who are additionally trained in providing mental health support. The newly recruited team has established understanding with the nearest RCMP detachment located 40 kilometres away to enhance emergency response times.

As the mournful anniversary looms, Saskatchewan RCMP’s commanding officer has made a statement acknowledging the collective national effort that ensued the tragic incident. He recollects, “We had over 500 personnel from almost every RCMP Division across the country, including 369 from Saskatchewan, deployed from territories stretching from B.C. to the Northwest Territories to New Brunswick to facilitate the immediate police response in the aftermath of this mass casualty incident. I am humbled by the continued level of dedication from our employees.”


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