Two employees fired from Sask. First Nation school, RCMP lay charges
First Nation says the Saskatchewan Child Abuse Protocol was followed
Two employees have been fired from an elementary school on the Beardy's and Okemasis Willow Cree First Nation.
On April 13, 2016 the First Nation's council send out a media release advising the public that a part-time employee working at Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School was terminated.
On Thursday, Rosthern RCMP said they initiated an investigation into a sexual assault on the first nation on April 4, and as a result have laid charges on a man including three counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual interference and five counts of sexual exploitation. RCMP said the part-time employee fired from the school on April 13 is the person facing these charges.
According to a statement released by Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation, council was made aware of an ongoing situation at the Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School. The First Nation said the Saskatchewan RCMP, the Willow Cree Education Staff, Child and Family Services, and Willow Cree Health were consulted – to ensure the safety and well-being of the students.
The First Nation said the actions by the school have been guided by the Saskatchewan Child Abuse Protocol of 2014, but would not provide any more details about the alleged incident, and the suspects and victims involved.
"We understand there are many concerns in the community, but due to the highly sensitive nature of the allegations, we are not able to divulge confidential information," council wrote in a release. "In order to protect the alleged victims from further trauma, we request that community members refrain from speculation."
The man facing charges made his first court appearance in Beardy's First Nation Provincial Court on April 6. His next court appearance is set for Wednesday, April 20.
Second person fired
Earlier Thursday afternoon a second employee was fired at the elementary school and the case was referred to the RCMP.
Councillor in charge of education, Candace Scott, revealed the second firing in a news release. When contacted, she said that she could not comment beyond what was written in the release.
Band Chief Rick Gamble told CBC News the second firing had to do with one of the school's teaching assistants and that's all they were going to say about it.
"The bottom line is that we are supplying support services to the families and the victims, and the investigation is ongoing," Gamble said.
The First Nation asks everyone to respect the privacy of the alleged victims and their families, adding additional information may be released in the future.
The Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation is about 92 kilometres north of Saskatoon.