Chief blames himself for boy’s death
SASKATOON (CP) — The chief of a northern Saskatchewan reserve where the body of a 10-year-old boy was found mauled by dogs says he feels at fault for the attack.
“I feel responsible, I don’t think I should be but I am,” said Chief Guy Lariviere of the Canoe Lake Cree Nation. “The leadership feels responsible. We should have done something more, we don’t know what.”
The reserve, about 300 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, is grieving the death of Keith Iron.
Police found the boy’s body in a yard on the First Nation at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday. RCMP have not said how the boy died. They would only say Monday that there were three dogs disturbing the body and the cause of death is being investigated by the coroner’s office.
Family members have said the boy was attacked by the dogs while he was walking to his cousin’s house. It was the same walk he made every morning.
Lariviere said the First Nation already has a bylaw that says dog owners should tie up animals thought to be aggressive.
“It was meant so that tragedies like this didn’t happen because in other communities we had heard of stuff like this going on,” said Lariviere.
But the chief said there have been problems enforcing the bylaw and complaints about loose dogs.
“We can’t afford to have a dog catcher for one thing. We don’t have the money to have somebody shoot them.
Lariviere said therapists are on the reserve trying to help people, especially Iron’s classmates, cope with the tragedy. The dogs involved in the attack on Canoe Lake have been shot. The chief also said the bylaws will be scrutinized and he believes the community will pull together to back change.