The Chief of Investigations in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan has announced plans to hold two public investigations in a stab earlier this month left 12 people dead, including the alleged attacker, and more than a dozen others injured.
During a press conference Wednesday, Clive Weighill of the Saskatchewan Coronation Authority said an investigation would be held into the deaths of 11 people who were killed on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon on Wednesday. September 4.
The attacks in indigenous communities and neighboring villages, about 320 kilometers (200 mi) north of Saskatchewan’s capital, Regina, marking one of the deadliest incidents of mass violence in Canadian history.
A separate investigation will be launched into the death of the main suspect, Myles Sanderson, who died in police custody Weighhill said after a manhunt that lasted several days.
“The events that have occurred require a methodical and complete investigation,” he told reporters.
An official with the Royal Canadian Mount Police (RCMP) in Saskatchewan told reporters on September 7 that Sanderson fell into “medical distress” shortly after officers arrested him after a chase on the highway.
However, police have so far released no further information about the exact circumstances of his death, despite inquiries from Canadian media outlets and other observers.
Weighill said on Wednesday that “police and investigative authorities are in the preliminary stages of their investigation” – a process he said includes toxicology, pathology and autopsy results. , and the completion of a police investigation, among other things.
“As you can appreciate, an investigation cannot be held until the investigation is complete,” Weighill said, adding that investigations could take place in late spring or early summer of 2023.
He said the investigations – which involve presenting evidence about what happened to the jury, then possibly making recommendations – will be made public to the public and the media. “My intention is to have a jury made entirely of Indigenous people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the James Smith Cree Nation, an indigenous community of about 1,900 people living on the reserve, continued wrestle with attacks.
“Where to start? Or where to start? I’ve been thinking over the past few days, there are no words that can emphasize the emotions we’re going through,” said James Smith, Cree Country Director Wally Burns told reporters earlier this month.
Ten locals were killed, including Sanderson’s brother Damien, who was previously wanted by police as a suspect in the stabbing and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the beatings. together. Another was killed in Weldon.
When asked if Damien Sanderson is now considered a victim because he was included in the investigation of the 11 deaths on September 4, Weighhill said Wednesday that the coroner’s office had “no hops”. what a leap”.
“We are currently looking at all 11 deaths from First Nation and Weldon for an investigation,” he said.
Canadian media outlets reported that Myles Sanderson had a history of violence, which often worsened when he was intoxicated.
In May, he was listed as “generally illegal” after he stopped seeing his parole officer following his statutory release.
The Canadian government said there would be an independent investigation into the parole decision in Myles Sanderson’s case.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Weighhill said the preliminary results of the post-mortem examination on Myles Sanderson showed “no injuries caused his death”.
“This is very, very preliminary, but it’s the best I can give you right now,” the coroner said. “It shows that no outside pressure could have caused his death.”