Chief Breaks Silence Over Southend RCMP Shooting

Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 14:38



The chief of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation is finally speaking out about this past weekend’s RCMP shooting in Southend.


Darrell McCallum says he’s concerned one of his band’s members was sent to hospital after being wounded by an RCMP officer on Saturday afternoon.


McCallum says the reports he’s received from community members is that the action taken by the Mountie was excessive.


He’s also been told that three shots were fired.


McCallum says this only serves to weaken the relations between his people and the RCMP.


FSIN Chief Lawrence Joseph says too many Aboriginal people have been the victims of police shootings in the province over the years.


According to Joseph, all of the shootings in Saskatchewan over the past decade have been against Aboriginal people.


He says it’s a “big question mark”, and adds “we’re not the only ones who are dangerous”.


FSIN Vice-Chief Glen Pratt says “there’s no reason for (the) RCMP to fear our people”.


The FSIN is renewing its call for First Nations peacekeepers on reserves, as well as a review of RCMP training.


Joseph says peacekeepers would work in communities, because there would be a relationship and therefore more mediation rather than confrontation.


The RCMP says it respects the opinions of the FSIN and wants to work with the organization . . . but notes any decision to change training has to come from the federal department in charge.


RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Carole Raymond says officers already use mediation as a tool.


Raymond adds the RCMP would listen to any changes brought forward by Public Safety and Corrections


The FSIN has met with Public Safety and Corrections Minister Stockwell Day to discuss the peacekeepers program, but there has not been a decision on funding.