Prince Albert Provincial Court. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski
The family of a Big River First Nation man accused of impaired driving hit and run that injured a group of kids earlier this month was in court on Wednesday.
At last update, an 11-year-old girl is still in hospital after being transported by STARS air ambulance when she was hit by a vehicle on April 9. Four other kids received minor injuries.
Colt Morin, 20, appeared briefly by video in Prince Albert, where his bail hearing was delayed until Friday.
More than half a dozen of his family members were present, and waved to him as his case was adjourned. None of the victims’ family members were present.
Outside court, Morin’s aunt Anne Whitefish said her community has serious issues with poverty and alcohol.
"There's nothing for people to do, especially for the young, and they turn to drugs and alcohol. It's sad, it's a sad life," she said.
"A lot of people drinking a lot of people just idle, nothing to do, boredom, and there's lots of crime happening because of that."
Whitefish said she and her other relatives attended court to support Morin.
"Who would want to see a relative of theirs going through this?" she asked.
Similar past court cases - like that of Gordon Morris Crain, who recently entered pleas for impaired driving killing a child on Muskoday in 2014 – have created rifts between First Nations families.
However, Whitefish said the reserve is spread out and they have not been in contact with the families of the victims. Thus far there have been no such conflicts, she said.
A bail report has been prepared in Morin’s case.
Elizabeth Joseph of Big River First Nation is charged with failing to stop at the scene of a crime where a person was injured and obstruction. Her next court appearance is May 9 at Big River court.