The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs developing a safety strategy for northern communities

Treaty One Territory – Winnipeg, Manitoba _ The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is currently developing a safety strategy for northern First Nation communities in Manitoba including Fox Lake Cree Nation, York Factory First Nation, and War Lake First Nation, in light of the two fugitives at large. The B.C. murder suspects are said to have been spotted in Gillam, Manitoba, where a massive ground search is currently underway.

Acting Grand Chief Sheldon Kent stated, “We are very concerned for the safety of the people in our northern communities, especially the Fox Lake, York Factory, and War Lake First Nations. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs wants to ensure that our people are vigilant and exercise caution until these fugitives are apprehended. We are fully cooperating with the RCMP’s efforts to bring these young men into custody, and AMC is working on a strategy to help keep our families safe.”

As part of the strategy, the AMC has approached the Bear Clan Patrol to offer its support and services. The Bear Clan Patrol is a community based solution to crime prevention, providing a sense of safety, solidarity and belonging to the communities they serve. They are now coordinating teams to fly to each of the communities to offer their services as support to the First Nations families.

“Today, as the RCMP is going door-to-door to ask questions, families need to feel a sense of support and security from their own people. It is unfortunate that we do not have a strong First Nations police force in our Manitoba First Nations communities, which is due to the Manitoba government withholding adequate funding in recent years. Yet we are thankful for the Bear Clan Patrol, for their willingness to fill in this gap that the Province created. The patrol groups will provide a sense of security to our First Nations communities that are now facing a great deal of uncertainty. As we roll out this strategy, we ask that all community members continue to cooperate with the RCMP. If anyone spots these two young men, please contact the RCMP right away – do not put yourself at risk. Keep your doors locked and your kids close,” concluded Acting Grand Chief Kent.

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18 are charged with second degree murder after a man’s body was found in Dease Lake B.C. They are also suspects in the shooting deaths of a tourist couple in northern BC last week. They have been spotted in northern Saskatchewan and were fleeing East. Their stolen vehicle was discovered burned and abandoned near Fox Lake Cree Nation. They are said to be armed and very dangerous.

Anyone with information of the whereabouts of these fugitives should dial 911, or contact the local RCMP in their area immediately. More information on the Northern First Nations Safety Strategy will be posted on our website and on our social media sites once finalized.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) represents 62 First Nations in Manitoba including the Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene and Dakota people.

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For more information, please contact:

Andrew Thunder
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (204) 987-4139

NT5

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