Saskatchewan RCMP said homicides in the province have risen 50 percent in the past five years.

Statistics released by the Mounties suggest that in 2019, homicides; including murder and manslaughter, were at 20.

In 2023 there were 30 homicides. The peak came in 2022 at 42, with this statistic including the mass stabbings on the James Smith Cree Nation and in the Village of Weldon, where 11 people were killed in September.

Authorities said 44 percent of people charged in a homicide were on conditions, bail, parole or probation at the time of the death.

“It goes without saying a homicide is the worst case scenario – but when an individual commits a homicide while on bail or release conditions, it is extremely discouraging and frustrating for our investigators,” says Officer in Charge of Major Crimes, Superintendent Joshua Graham. “In 2023, our Major Crimes unit had five instances where two to three separate homicides occurred in less than 48 hours – these clusters of homicides are alarming but no longer an anomaly.”

A public inquest into the mass stabbing incident on the James Smith Cree Nation is scheduled to begin on January 15.