Queen Elizabeth was no stranger to the Prairies

Plus, some say too many alerts were sent following the stabbings at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon. While others say too many are better than none.

What a week last week was. 

Saskatchewan had its first frost warning of the year. 

The James Smith Cree First Nation suspects are both deceased. 

Queen Elizabeth passed away. 

The week wrapped up with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers winning the Banjo Bowl 54-20 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who were battling a stomach virus

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And Pierre Poilievre won the national Conservative leadership.


Queen Elizabeth and the Prairies

Queen Elizabeth was no stranger to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. She visited both provinces six times. 

  • On a cold October day during her 2002 golden jubilee tour in Winnipeg, she took a boat ride on the Red River. The vessel stalled and needed a tow to shore.
  • You can see many photos of Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Saskatchewan here.

Her last time was in 2005, when she unveiled a statue of herself on the horse Burmese at the Saskatchewan Legislature.

  • Burmese was a Saskatchewan-born black mare gifted to the queen by the RCMP in 1969.
  • In 1981, Burmese did his best to protect the queen during an attempt on her life, an event highlighted in Netflix’s series about the monarch, The Crown, which I think is worth watching if you haven’t gotten around to it yet. 
Queen Elizabeth II rides Burmese during the Trooping of the Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace in June 1985 in London, England.
Queen Elizabeth II rides Burmese during the Trooping of the Colour ceremony at Buckingham Palace in June 1985 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

If you have any memories of the queen and her time on the Prairies, I would love to hear them.

Sending condolences

Manitobans can sign books of condolences at the Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg City Hall and Brandon City Hall beginning Sept. 12 at 10 a.m.

In Saskatchewan, books of condolences can be signed at the Regina and Saskatoon city halls, the Government House, and the provincial legislature building.

Condolences can also be sent online

James Cree First Nation speaks about tragedy

The passing of Queen Elizabeth overshadowed the news conference of James Cree First Nation, which was about forgiveness and called for First Nations policing.

  • Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte of the Prince Albert Grand Council said he plans to meet with Ottawa about this initiative. 
  • He hopes there can be a transition system for dangerous offenders like Myles Sanderson to prepare them for a return to the community. 

James Cree Cheif Wally Burns and other Indigenous leaders are calling on the provincial and federal governments to fund on-reserve addiction treatment centres in the wake of the stabbings.

“The arrival of crystal meth about a decade ago added a new level of violence and gang activity,” a former addiction counsellor living in the community told the New York Times

Meanwhile, the families affected by the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash ask Canadians to show the “same level of compassion” to James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon.

How did Myles Sanderson die? 

An autopsy is planned to confirm the cause of Sanderson’s death, and the Saskatoon Police Service will independently investigate the arresting RCMP officers. 

  • The Serious Incident Response Team is also looking into the matter. 
  • Some have called for a formal coroner’s inquest like the one planned in Prince Albert for next month to look into the death of 55-year-old Kevin Wolbaum at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary.

The Daily Beast, which has been characterized as a high-end tabloid by its previous editor-in-chief, cited an unnamed source saying Myles was in Regina to see friends and family one last time and that his death was a suicide. 

Anonymous sources are dicey in journalism

  • It can be the only way for journalists to obtain information of public interest. The most famous example is Deep Throat in the Watergate scandal. 
  • It can also lead to errors and create distrust in journalism. 

The use of the alert system 

Several emergency alerts went out to people across Saskatchewan last week. 

  • Some felt it was too many alerts, while others say it was better than none. 
  • Police sent no mobile warnings during the mass shootings in Nova Scotia, which is something the RCMP took criticism on.
  • Using the emergency alert system for policing matters is still a bit of a learning curve, said a retired RCMP officer on its recent use in Saskatchewan
  • “I think what you might be seeing is an overcompensation, in some ways,” Bruce Pitt-Payne, a retired RCMP particular crimes investigator, told the Regina Leader-Post.

Further reading:


Five stories from Manitoba you may have missed

  1. Winnipeg filmmaker’s doc chronicling life of music icon Buffy Sainte-Marie gets TIFF premiere
  2. Province calls for investigation by auditor general into actions of ‘various’ Manitoba municipalities
  3. How the Queen unknowingly gave a Winnipeg business a boost and created memories for a generation of Jets fans
  4. Cree athlete returns to Manitoba with 8 medals from dragon boat world championship
  5. Amazon says giant warehouse never in the cards for Winnipeg. Revelation flies in face of allegations made by civic election candidates

Five stories from Saskatchewan you may have missed

  1. Brent Worrall hand-cycles across Saskatchewan to raise awareness of PTSD
  2. ‘It binds us together’: Three fallen officers added to RCMP’s Honour Roll and Memorial Wall
  3. Moderna bivalent COVID-19 booster dose available for more Saskatchewan residents
  4. Sell a bison burger and you’re selling a story.
  5. Saskatchewan artist launches ‘Cries for Ukraine’ song in honour of Ukraine

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Thanks for reading, and kind regards,

Kelly-Anne Riess

Important work at a critical time.

Over the last 20 years, on the Prairies and beyond,  local newsrooms have shrunk, which means not much investigative journalism gets done in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Flatlander is changing this.

 

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