POLITICS

Residents on Sask. reserve where child beaten to death start petition

08/27/2013 09:52 EDT | Updated 10/27/2013 05:12 EDT
BROADVIEW, Sask. - A resident of a Saskatchewan First Nation has started a petition to make changes in the community in the wake of a six-year-old boy's beating death.

Bobbi Alexson says he was one of the first to the scene on the Kahkewistahaw (kack-ah-WISH-tah-haw) First Nation where little Lee Allan Bonneau was found seriously injured last Wednesday.

Lee died in hospital from his wounds, which RCMP say were consistent with an assault.

Alexson, who is 18 and works at the gas store, asks in the petition for peacekeepers and curfews to keep kids safe.

He has a copy at the store and he's letting people know about it on the Kahkewistahaw Facebook page.

So far more than 180 people have signed the petition, most of whom Alexson says are regulars at the store.

"I seen that little boy and his condition was, it was not good at all," Alexson said. "It kind of makes you think twice about everything. It kinda just makes your world stop."

On the reserve's Facebook page, people are airing their concerns, frustrations and support for the petition.

Sharleen Edwards wrote, “I say make it a ‘dry’ reserve implement it. Would be a great step to healing.”

Others, like Tania McKay aren’t sure the petition and the changes it calls for will help.

She posted: “I don't mean to be a negative nelly...but really what is that going to do? It is always just talk..no action. I'm not a band member but this is my home..where I choose to raise my family...Until we all realize that we failed the young people..our future..we are never gonna go anywhere.”

RCMP have not made any arrests in the case.

“I seen that little boy and his condition was — it was not good at all," Alexson said. "It kind of makes you think twice about everything. It kinda just makes your world stop."

He says he has seen a lot of things in his short life. But the latest killing prompted him to act.

“People around here, they talk about it. They talk and talk. But nothing ever gets done,” he said.

Lee had been reported missing a couple of hours after being spotted playing with dogs outside the band's community centre, where people had gathered for bingo.

Searchers later found the child about two blocks away from the hall and he was rushed to hospital, where he died of his injuries.

RCMP have said the dogs were not the cause of the boy's wounds.

(CJME)