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What We Know About Victims Of The Saskatchewan, Canada, Stabbings So Far



The fatal stabbings in Saskatchewan, Canada, on Sunday left a trail of heartbroken families and communities in its wake. Ten people died and another 18 were injured in the area of James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon.

Police found the body of one suspect, Damien Sanderson, on Monday, with injuries that aren’t believed to be self-inflicted. The other suspect, his brother Myles Sanderson, was still at large as of Tuesday morning, but police have warned that he is considered to be armed and dangerous.

No youth or children were targeted in the attack, Regina Chief of Police Evan Bray said in an update on Monday night.

Families and friends have begun identifying some of the victims of the stabbings, including a widower and a first responder. Here’s what we know about some of the victims so far.

Gloria Burns


Ivor Burns and Darryl Burns of the James Smith Cree Nation identified their sister, 62-year-old Gloria Burns, as one of the victims. Gloria, a first responder, was killed after being dispatched on a crisis call about the stabbings.

“We worked on the same team and it was her turn to be on call. Anyone could have taken that call,” Darryl told Global News.

A longtime addictions counselor at the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, Gloria struggled early in life before finding meaning in her career, her brothers said.

“She devoted her life to helping people,” Darryl said. “She grew up in this community, and she had battled with addiction. She battled with a whole bunch of issues in her life before she started working in the field.”

Gloria’s friend Adrian Lee called her an “amazing woman, friend, and soul” in a post on Facebook. “She and I worked together and she was selfless and strong beyond words.”

Darryl told Global News that he knew the Sandersons and their struggles with addiction. They were “products of residential schools” and had a lot of anger, Darryl added.

Ivor said the James Smith Cree Nation and other First Nations communities needed help.

“We’re taking it as a teaching to give us the strength to voice what’s not being said,” he told Global News.

Wes Petterson

Wes Petterson was a 77-year-old widower who was remembered by friends as a kind man. Weldon resident Robert Rush told the BBC that Petterson was a gentle person who “wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

His neighbor Ruby Works also said that Petterson, whom she had known since she was young, was like an uncle to her.

“If someone needed a hand, he helped. He was a kind-hearted man,” Works told the BBC. “He didn’t deserve this.”

Lana Head

Lana Head, a mother and beloved friend, also died on James Smith Cree Nation after being stabbed. On social media, friends and family members expressed their shock and sadness over her death.

Head’s childhood friend Melodie Whitecap wrote that she would miss her FaceTime calls and their texts. Head was a “sweet gentle soul,” she said on Facebook, and her go-to person when she wanted someone to talk to.

“I can’t believe she is gone in a horrific way,” Whitecap wrote.

Earl Burns

The Saskatchewan First Nations Veterans Association confirmed Earl Burns as one of the victims as well. He was a veteran of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

His sister told PaNOW that her brother was protecting his family when he was attacked.

“My brother Earl Burns was a true hero. He fought til the death to protect his family,” Deborah McLean said in a statement to PaNOW.

Burns was a father to three and a grandfather. He had a big family, with many uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and eight siblings, McLean said.

“He was a proud veteran for the Canadian army, and attended almost every powwow in the Indian territories. He was loyal, a good provider and a very proud Moosom,” she said.

This post will be updated as more information about the victims is released.




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