'It was very emotional': Relative says of seeing siblings who were set on fire near La Ronge, Sask.
'We're just trying to put the story together,' woman related to burned brother and sister says
A young brother and sister are recovering from injuries suffered after they were allegedly doused with gasoline and set on fire by another child near La Ronge, Sask., according to a relative.
"We're just trying to put the story together," said the relative, who is in Saskatoon with the family. CBC News decided not to name the relative as it may identify youth victims of crime.
"I don't really know what happened."
The relative said the incident occurred on Fairchild Reserve, a smaller community within the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, which is about 380 kilometres north of Saskatoon.
RCMP said all the children, including the child who allegedly set the siblings on fire, are under 12.
That child can't be charged, as is the case with anyone under the age of 12. The Youth Criminal Act only allows the prosecution of children 12 to 17.
The relative said she was called on Sunday by another family member and rushed to La Ronge Health Centre, where EMS had taken the burned siblings, an 11-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy.
"It was very emotional. I was just in shock because I didn't expect to see what I saw at the hospital," she said.
The girl appeared to be in better condition than her brother.
The relative said she wasn't able to see the boy at first, except for when he was being taken from the hospital room to the ambulance in La Ronge.
We are hoping that we get justice for these kids.- Relative of siblings burned by another child
"He was out. They had him heavily sedated," said the woman. "He was burned on his face."
The boy was airlifted to Saskatoon for treatment and his condition has improved.
On Tuesday, the relative said the boy was sitting up and talking, and was allowed to spend the night out of the hospital with his parents.
As of Wednesday, he was officially released from hospital and is on his way back to La Ronge with family.
The little girl was released from the La Ronge centre earlier and has been in the care of a grandparent.
Relative of 3rd child says incident was an accident
A close relative of the child allegedly responsible for the incident says the whole thing was an accident.
The woman tells CTV Saskatoon the children were playing with gas, pouring it and trying to light it when the gas burst into flames. She said the third child's eyelashes and eyebrows were burned, and he helped put out the fires on the two other children.
Family calling for justice
The relative of the two other children said she was not sure what will happen to the child allegedly responsible for burning the siblings.
"We are hoping that we get justice for these kids. There is so much darn violence happening in La Ronge. To see this … it's getting worse, I think," she said.
The provincial Ministry of Social Services said it is unable to provide any specific information on the case.
"The Child and Family Services Act prohibits the ministry from confirming if a child or family has or has had involvement with either the ministry or delegated First Nations Child and Family Services Agency," said a spokesperson for the ministry.
Section 11 of the Child and Family Services Act allows the ministry or a delegated First Nations child and family services agency to become involved with children under 12 who are believed to have committed an act that would be a criminal offence if they were 12 or over.
The ministry spokesperson said that typically includes professionally assessing the child and the family, involving mental health experts, to determine the level of care, supervision, support and treatment required.
First Nations agencies are responsible for ensuring culturally appropriate supports are provided as well.
With files from The Canadian Press