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Battleford: Video of Indigenous man's assault generates outrage

Homeowner posts video because “racism kills and it has to stop.”
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A video of a First Nations man accosted in Battleford is going viral.

BATTLEFORD — RCMP say they have identified two of the three men in a video of an angry white man accosting an Indigenous man in Battleford Sunday which was posted online by the resident at whose home the incident happened. 

The matter is still under investigation, the Battlefords RCMP detachment told Tuesday morning. The suspects were unknown to the victim and were gone from the area when police arrived, they said, though they have made progress in identifying at least two of the suspects in the last 24 hours. is awaiting further word from the RCMP who said they plan to release more detailed information later.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations executive is calling on the RCMP to lay charges in the assault.

FSIN describes the incident as a brutal, unprovoked attack.

FSIN says the victim was from Poundmaker Cree Nation who was unhooking a trailer at a residence in Battleford when a group of non-First Nation men walked onto the property and approached him.

FSIN describes the incident thus: "One of these men attacked the First Nation man while he was unhooking a trailer with his six-year old daughter sitting in the vehicle. The attacker struck him and then proceeded to pull him to the ground by his braid and further [assaulted] the man with a knee to the face. The entire group then left.”

Homeowner Eleanore Sunchild said in the FSIN release, "We are sickened and saddened by the anger, violence and racism that was brought into our yard on Sunday, July 17, 2022. This was seemingly an act of vigilante justice which resulted in our friend being brutally assaulted.”

Sunchild said she posted the video because “racism kills and it has to stop.”

FSIN Vice Chief Dutch Lerat said, “This was an unprovoked racial attack by residents of Battleford who assaulted a respected First Nation male with leadership and Treaty advocacy and who still does amazing work for First Nation communities. The attack occurred at a private residence in Battleford. There is video footage that shows this brutal assault. FSIN is demanding that the RCMP lay all appropriate charges in this matter.”

NDP MLA Betty Nippi-Albright, Critic for Truth and Reconciliation, First Nations and Métis Relations, issued a statement saying, “I am absolutely appalled by the news coming out of the Battlefords a couple of nights ago and heartbroken that a six-year-old bore witness to this unprovoked attack. Sadly, attacks such as this one occur all too often in Saskatchewan. I stand with the FSIN in urging a swift investigation and appropriate charges. I also implore the people of Saskatchewan to write their MLAs and demand immediate action on the disproportionate levels of violence facing Indigenous people. Racism has no place in our province.”



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