Yorkton Tribal Council has doubts about report into boy's slaying

The Canadian Press
May 15, 2014 07:21 PM

REGINA - The Yorkton Tribal Council is expressing doubt about some aspects of an investigation into the slaying of a six-year-old boy by a 10-year-old boy with developmental problems.

The Saskatchewan Advocate for Children and Youth released a report earlier this week suggesting the 10-year-old boy, referred to as "Derek" in the report, should not have been in the community unsupervised.

Bob Pringle said there were significant gaps in the aid provided to Derek by the tribal council's child and family services office and called it a "disaster."

Pringle said nine concerns were reported to the CFS office, but two were never even investigated and investigation on some of the others was delayed by months.

Raymond Shingoose, director of the CFS office, said Thursday they will check into the accuracy of some of Pringle's statement and added he is unsure whether Pringle took into account other service providers who may have met with Derek.

Pringle responded that his people interviewed every staff member who had any role with the family, adding the Yorkton Tribal Council was given the report three weeks ago so they could check out the facts it presented.

Social Services Minister June Draude said she accepted the report and accepted the findings.

“We had the blessing of the chief, we had the blessing of the organization to come in and do a review,” said Pringle. “Then when I go out to Yorkton a week ago, I’m told by the FSIN that, ‘You’re an outsider. You don’t have any jurisdiction here. And we don’t have to talk to you and we’re not going to accept your report.’”

In a statement released earlier Thursday, vice-chief Kim Jonathan said while improvements are needed to the tribal council's child welfare system, cultural and jurisdictional need to be respected.

The statement went on to cite the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples reference to the rights of self-determination, including the rights of Indigenous children.

RCMP said at a news conference last September that the six-year-old, Lee Bonneau, was found injured in a wooded area not far from the Kahkewistahaw First Nation community centre where he was last seen.

Lee was not a member of the First Nation and was visiting the reserve with his foster mother, who had gone to play bingo.

The report said the little boy was by her side all evening until she gave him some money to purchase a treat at the canteen inside the recreation centre. When he didn't return about 15 minutes later, the foster mother began looking for him and community members joined in the search.

Lee was last seen walking with the older boy outside the reserve's recreation complex.

He died in hospital from head injuries that police say were consistent with an assault.

Derek is in care now and Pringle said he is likely to require close supervision for many years to come.

He was too young to be charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

(CJME)


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