Sask. First Nation shocked at child killer's transfer to healing lodge on its land
'I think that crime is quite horrendous': chief
WARNING: This story contains details some readers may find disturbing.
The chief of the Nekaneet First Nation says his band is 'shocked' that convicted child murderer Terri-Lynne McClintic has transferred to a minimum-security healing lodge on their land.
"We have no say in who goes there," Alvin Francis, chief of Nekaneet, said. "My heart goes out to the Stafford family because it is a horrible crime."
McClintic was convicted eight years ago of the gruesome rape and murder of an eight-year-old Ontario girl.
There are no fences around the minimum-security Okimaw Ohci healing lodge near Maple Creek, where McClintic is now serving her sentence.
McClintic serving 'an indeterminate life sentence': corrections officials
McClintic lured Tori Stafford into her then-boyfriend's car on April 8, 2009.
In court, she told jurors Michael Rafferty repeatedly raped the girl before she bludgeoned the young girl to death with a hammer.
The pair was convicted of first degree murder the following year.
Corrections Canada has said McClintic is serving "an indeterminate life sentence" for first-degree murder and won't be eligible for parole until May 19, 2031.
'That crime is quite horrendous': chief
Her move to Saskatchewan leaves the band chief shaking his head.
"I can't say it's acceptable," Francis said.. "I think that crime is quite horrendous, it really is."
He said he trusted federal officials, who are taking a step in the right direction by reviewing their decision to move McClintic.
He said McClintic's ancestry would not affect her willingness to change her ways.
Reserve has no say in prisoner screening
Francis said six years ago, his people lost their say over which prisoners move onto their land.
"They need to know too, who are we bringing back to Nekaneet," said Francis, who said Cree elders used to travel to other prisons to interview inmates who wanted transfers to the healing lodge.
He said elders did occasionally deny those prisoners' requests.
Now he said band members are forced to trust federal prison officials to make the right decision, which makes him feel uneasy.
"[Elders] are concerned about who comes there," said Francis. "Because with no fences there she can walk off, right?"