Families, Communities of Old Saskatchewan. tragedies offer condolences to the Cree Nation by James Smith, Weldon

Tragedies like the one that engulfed the James Smith and Weldon Cree Nation in Saskatchewan can devastate a small community, and those who have lived through them know all too well.

That’s why the residents of La Loche, Saskatchewan, who were victims of a mass school shooting just over six years ago, and those who felt the impact of the horrific Humboldt bus that killed 16 people in 2018 feels such empathy about the incident.

Tanzy Janvier, who lives in Saskatoon but was in La Loche at the time of the school mass shooting, says it’s hard for him to talk about the stabbing in early September that left 10 dead and 18 others injured , not to mention the two defendants who also died in the following days. Nine of the deceased victims lived in James Smith’s Cree Nation, and another in Weldon, Saskatchewan, less than 20 kilometers from the reservation.

Of the 18 injured, 17 were admitted to hospital and as of Monday afternoon, four remain in stable condition.

While there are distinct differences between the two horrific tragedies, Janvier says there are similarities that remind him of the school shooting in La Loche on January 22, 2016, which ended in four dead, seven injured. and the 17-year-old killer. in custody.

“Since then, every time I hear about a school shooting happening anywhere else, whether in Canada or the United States, I feel these feelings of grief and trauma,” January told Leisha Grebinski , CBC host. Saskatoon morninglast week while the accused in the mass stabbings remained at large.

« It’s so similar to what we went through, where someone in our own community did this horrible thing, » she said.

Church members take comfort in January 2016 after four people were killed in the mass shooting in La Loche, Saskatchewan. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

« My heart… goes out to James Smith’s Cree Nation »

Janvier says his “heart… goes out to the James Smith Cree Nation,” knowing the community “will face a lot.”

« I know this is going to be an endless tragedy for them, » Jan said. « It’s going to last a long time because that was the case for us at La Loche. It was just that feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. »

She said that although tragedies in small communities are difficult because of their close connection, it also helps with healing. « There was always a hug everywhere I turned, » she said of the support at the burials of the victims. « You could see your own grief in other people’s faces. »

LISTEN | Traumatic stress expert covers important aspects of healing after community tragedy

Saskatoon morning11:32A traumatic stress expert looks at what needs to happen now and in the years to come to help the province deal with this week’s tragedy

Host Leisha Grebinski speaks with traumatic stress expert Pat Rivard who says action needs to be taken now to help those affected. We then hear Tanzy Janvier who was in La Loche during the 2016 school shooting.

Pat Rivard, a traumatic stress expert who provided support after the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team bus crash, said Saskatoon morning that it is important to « walk alongside » the community as it navigates the traumatic experience.

« Every community has strength and the James Smith Cree Nation is no different in terms of the inherent strength they have within their community to work alongside them and use the very capable people in the community to help them. overcome that, » he said.

Rivard says people react differently to traumatic events and it can take months or years to heal.

The neighboring nation supports the community with fish fry

Tommy Bird, a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation of Southend, Saskatchewan, about 380 kilometers northeast of Prince Albert and more than 500 kilometers from James Smith, said his community held a fish fry on Sunday after -noon to support grieving families.

A person plunges a pair of tongs into a vat of oil to catch a frying fish.
A fish fry organized for members of the James Smith Cree Nation community is one of the ways people like Tommy Bird, along with other members of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, show their support for the grieving community. (Tommy Bird/Facebook)

« For a while we changed the atmosphere from mourning, mourning, to laughing for a while. Everyone was happy with a smile on their face with a belly full of fish, » he said.

He said showing the community that others care « goes a long way ».

Families of Humboldt Broncos victims offer condolences

A message posted on Twitter by Laurie Thomas, the mother of Evan Thomas who died in the Broncos bus crash, said the families of the Broncos team involved in the accident offered their condolences to the victims and families. recent stab wounds.

In their message released Friday, the families thanked emergency personnel and those who continue to help, while calling on Canadians who have supported the families of the Broncos « to show the same level of compassion towards our brothers and sisters in the James Smith and Weldon Cree Nation. »

Kaleb Dahlgren, one of the hockey players involved in the fatal crash and the author of a memoir following the accident, spoke as a keynote speaker at a paramedic trade show last week.

LISTEN | Years after Humboldt Broncos bus crash, survivor provides insight into coping with trauma

Saskatoon morning6:49A survivor of the Humboldt Broncos crash will speak at the Paramedic Career Expo today in Saskatoon

Kaleb Dahlgren has spoken publicly about the role first responders played in saving his life. From now on, he will speak directly to them. Host Leisha Grebinski talks with Dahlgren about what he learned about healing from loss.

Dahlgren spoke of his struggle with survivor’s guilt and said that when dealing with the crash he thought about one of those who died in the crash and what he would want for him if their places had been exchanged.

« I thought about it and I was like, well, chase his dreams, follow his passions, pursue whatever he can, take risks, have fun, love hard, live life to the fullest, » a- he declared.

« I should do it for myself and for everyone too, and that’s why I continued from that moment. »


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