For the first time since the tragic passing of 13-month-old Tanner Brass in Prince Albert, his mother Kyla Frenchman is speaking publicly.

Tanner Brass was killed after Prince Albert police officers arrested Kyla Frenchman during a domestic dispute.

According to the FSIN and Frenchman, the officers ignored Frenchman’s repeated cries for officers to help her baby and arrested her on a suspicion of intoxication.  A suspicion Frenchman claims was false. 

Hours later Tanner would be dead.

Tanner’s father, Kaij Brass currently faces a murder charge in his death, the officers who attended the situation have been suspended with pay, and the Public Complaints Commission is investigating the matter.

At a press event in Saskatoon Friday morning, Frenchman was set to address the media, however, she became too emotional to speak.  Frenchman’s statement, was read on her behalf by her legal counsel Eleanor Sunchild.

“I was scared and needed their help and I thought they were here to help, but they didn’t… they took my baby from me… I believe Tanner would be alive today if they had listened to me,” spoke Sunchild from the prepared statement.

After a few other speakers, Frenchman did muster the courage to speak briefly.

“Tanner was a happy baby,” said Frenchman in a fragile voice.

While Tanner’s mother refused to speak on any specifics on the day he died, she did make it clear she wants justice.

“I want justice for my baby.  It’s not right, no one should have to go through this,” she said.

A national tragedy says the FSIN

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations has continuously called for immediate action in this matter now saying the situation is a national tragedy.

“All of Canada should know what is going on here,” said FSIN Vice-Chief Heather Bear.

Bear believes the Prince Albert Police Service painted Frenchman in a negative light in their initial reporting on the matter and that the officers involved should be held criminally responsible.

“(Frenchman) is another victim of the criminal justice system,” said Bear.

FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron is pushing for a complete overhaul of the justice system with Tanner’s death as the catalyst.

“We can not afford to continue this path,” Cameron said.  “The current system is failing and will continue to fail.”

Cameron spoke on his doubts of investigations into the matter that do not include Indigenous representation.

“Police, policing police will fail,” said Cameron.  “The (Public complaints Commission) will fail without Indigenous inclusion.”

The FSIN chief again confirmed their organization’s willingness to seek legal action, if Kyla Frenchman and her legal counsel want to pursue that option.

(PHOTO: Eleanor Sunchild reads Kyla Frenchman’s statement as friends and family console the Frenchman in the background. By Joel Willick.)