Hundreds of people in La Loche, a community of 2,600, attended a church service on 24 January, in memory of the four victims of school shooting in a remote part of Saskatchewan. A 17-year-old boy was due to appear in court on 25 January, charged with four counts of murder after the incident on 22 January.
Canada's government is grappling with the fatal attack in the remote town, which is mostly populated by Aboriginal Canadians. House leader Dominic LeBlanc – a key ally of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – from the Atlantic province of New Brunswick, told reporters Ottawa would work with aboriginal leaders "to deal with some of the tragic and alarming social indicators in many of these communities".
Local Roman Catholic Archbishop Murray Chatlain said recent cuts to school and other services could have played a role in the tragedy, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported.
In December, Trudeau promised a new "nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples" – a term that Aboriginal Canadians use to refer to themselves – and said he would increase funding for indigenous communities.
The head of a group representing 65,000 aboriginals in northern Manitoba, which borders Saskatchewan, said the tragedy showed the need for major investments in mental health, education and the economy.