Neil Stonechild

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Neil Stonechild (1973–November 25, 1990) was a Cree First Nations teenager who died of hypothermia. There were accusations that the Saskatoon Police Service may have taken him to the northwest section of the city and abandoned him in a field on a night when temperatures were below −28°C.[1] The practice is known as a starlight tour, and a number of such cases in Saskatoon area have been referred to collectively as the Saskatoon freezing deaths.[1]

Death[edit]

Stonechild's friend Jason Roy was with Stonechild the night of his death. According to CBC News, Roy stated that the last night he saw Stonechild alive, Stonechild was handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser with a cut on his face. The last words Stonechild said to him was, "Help me. They're going to kill me."[1] Jason Roy's family was ultimately put into an RCMP witness protection program.[1]

His body was found, with one shoe missing, on November 29 by two construction workers. In the initial investigation of his death, the Saskatoon police determined that there was no foul play; however, his companion on November 24/25, Jason Roy, said Stonechild had been in police custody. Roy said he had seen his friend in the back of a police cruiser. In 2000 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated Stonechild's death and the deaths of other First Nations individuals thought to have been in police custody.[2]

Inquiry[edit]

In 2003, the Saskatchewan provincial government held formal inquiries into Stonechild's death. The report concluded that Stonechild had been picked up by the police shortly before he died on the outskirts of the city. The report also concluded that relations between the police and First Nations are problematic. However, the inquiry found that at the time of the death the police investigation was not adequate to conclude what the circumstances were surrounding Neil Stonechild's death.[1] The inquiry concluded on May 19, 2004.[2]

Background[edit]

Stonechild was an accomplished wrestler,[3] having won a bantamweight provincial title in Saskatchewan.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "CBC News report on Stonechild death". CBC. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Overview of the Facts." Commission of Inquiry into the Matters Relating to the Death of Neil Stonechild: Final Document. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  3. ^ Renaud, Rob; Reber, Susanne (2005). Starlight tour: the last, lonely night of Neil Stonechild. Toronto: Random House Canada. p. 378. ISBN 0-679-31307-9. 

External links[edit]