Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the James Smith Cree Nation indigenous community where 11 people were killed in a stabbing spree in September.
During his visit on Monday, Trudeau met community leaders, families of victims, survivors and also announced C$62.5 million over six years, starting from 2022, and C$4.5 million “to support the healing, mental health, and well-being” of those impacted by the incident that took place on September 4 over Canada’s Labour Day weekend, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
From the C$62.5 million funding, C$42.5 million will help support mental wellness and healing, including through the building of a new wellness centre in the community and repurposing the existing Sakwatamo Lodge, the statement said.
The Prime Minister also announced an additional C$20 million over four years to further fund the Pathways to Safe Indigenous Communities Initiative, “which builds on our work to implement the Federal Pathway, and end violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people”.
“Today, I heard first-hand the pain, sorrow, anger, and grief that people here in the community of James Smith Cree Nation are feeling. Canadians are mourning with you,” Trudeau was quoted as saying in the statement.
“More access to mental health and addictions care will help create a safer and healthier community, and to the people of James Smith Cree Nation: the government will be your partner every step of the way on your healing journey.”
On September 4, 11 people were murdered and 18 injured in James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon, Saskatchewan.
The suspect, Myles Sanderson, was apprehended by police, went into medical distress, and later died in hospital. The cause of death is yet to be determined.
In October, Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said that “we will never really know why” the incident took place.