Next week, Spiritwood and surrounding reserves will come together to remember a shooting that stunned the nation and took the lives of two RCMP officers.
On July 7, 2006, Constable Robin Cameron and Constable Marc Bourdages were both shot by a man they had been pursuing in their police cruiser near Mildred.
The manhunt for the shooter, Curtis Dagenais, continued for 12 days before he turned himself in. During that time, 29-year-old Cameron and 26-year-old Bourdages were in intensive care for days before dying.
Now, a series of events on July 5 and 6 will mark the sacrifice those two officers made in the line of duty.
There will be a walk in Spiritwood next Tuesday to raise money for a memorial park that will include a statue of Cameron and Bourdages. Agency Chiefs Tribal Council (ACTC) Chief Steven Jim will be a part of a cheque presentation at that event.
“Other communities in Canada that have lost RCMP officers in the line of duty have erected life seized statues in memory of those fallen members. We want to ensure that our community properly honours Cst’s Cameron and Bourdages in the same way,” Jim said in a news release.
Sgt. Shannon Haggarty with the Spiritwood detachment is a part of the Cameron and Bourdages Memorial Society.
“It’s just important to have a place of peace and remembering, somewhere that community members can go to reflect,” she said.
On Wednesday, First Nations culture will be a big part of remembering Cameron and Bourdages. Pelican Lake, Witchekan Lake, Big River, and ACTC will honour their lives with a pipe ceremony, grand entry, feast, round dance, and speeches from the family of the slain officers.
This involvement shows the close relationship RCMP officers have with the nearby reserves, said Sgt. Haggarty.
“Both Robin and Mark were very involved in the youth and in activities on the First Nations because that’s part of our policing area,” she said. “These two members were not only a part of the RCMP buta part of the community they worked in.”
Cameron was a member of Beardy’s and Okemasis, and both constables had children. Marking their sacrifice after 10 years is significant, she said.
“It’s important for our communities to come together as well as our RCMP family just to show that we help with the healing process.”
Their families will be present at the July 6 memorial and ceremonies.