FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2022
Tŝilhqot’in Nation Stands with James Smith Cree Nation and Victims’ Families
Williams Lake, B.C.: The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is standing with the community of James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and families of the victims of the recent horrific attacks. The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is also calling for cooperation among all people and agencies involved in this tragic situation.
Senseless killings like this have the potential to happen in any Indigenous community in Canada. While most of the country grapples with disbelief, this is also a time to recognize that these dire social issues are not isolated. Families impacted by a history of intergenerational trauma need focused, sustained support to not only recover and raise healthy generations, bu also to ensure the health and safety of the entire community surrounding them.
Through this time of grief, the Tŝilhqot’in Nation stands with the families and community of James Smith Cree Nation.
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, O.B.C, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government
“It is at times like this that we need to stand together and support each other. Too many lives were taken too soon. We pray for healing within the communities affected by this tragic event. What happened in the James Smith Cree Nation has the potential to happen in any of our communities. This is not an isolated event. Our people are living every day in a state of emergency. The mix of trauma, drugs and alcohol is fueling a crisis in Indigenous communities across Canada. We need to tackle these issues head-on. Overcoming historical trauma in our communities is one thing but the implications of where that trauma is leading our younger generations is far, far more dangerous.”
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Otis Guichon, Vice-Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government
“You see the photos of those that are no longer with us because of this tragedy. I can’t imagine the loss the communities must be feeling at this moment. Our prayers go out to everyone. Everyone will need to support each other to work through the grief of these families.”
Tŝilhqot’in National Government