Metis Leader “Saddened” By Mountie’s Exhumation

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 13:17



The remains of a Metis Mountie were exhumed from their resting place in Lac la Biche, Alberta yesterday — prompting the leader of the Metis National Council to call it a “very sad day for the entire Metis Nation”.


Constable Leo Johnston was one of the four RCMP officers gunned down in the 2005 Mayerthorpe Massacre.


His widow had been fighting, against the wishes of her late husband’s parents, to have her husband’s body moved to the RCMP’s national cemetery in Regina.


An Alberta court sided with Johnston’s widow, and last month the Supreme Court of Canada denied his parents’ leave for appeal.


MNC President Clem Chartier says he is “truly saddened” the late Mountie “has been taken from his family, his people and from his ancestors’ homeland”.


Chartier says there were indications from the widow’s lawyers the disinterment would be delayed, giving hope a compromise was still possible.


He says the timing of the sudden disinterment is making the situation even harder on his family, saying it was “tragic” and “unnecessary” to go through with it so close to Christmas.