By Julia Magsombol 

Local Journalism Initiative 

[email protected]

Kim Beaudin, national vice-chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), is passionate when he speaks about Indigenous prisoners in Saskatchewan and the current system of Canada’s jails.  

The parole board and Correctional Service Canada started a public inquest on Myles Sanderson, an Indigenous prisoner who died. 

“[He] fell through the system,” Beaudin told the Pioneer. 

On the morning of Sept. 4, 2022, Sanderson killed 11 people and injured 17 others at James Smith Cree Nation. For more information on this story, read

Sanderson died in police custody three days later on Sept. 7. His inquest will run from February 26 to March 1, 2024. 

“I believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that there needs to be more communication and input and other means from Indigenous Peoples in the community,” said Beaudin. 

He explained that Sanderson was traumatized. He had a very poor relationship with his father and was a product of a residential school. He questioned the case’s correction for trauma, saying that it doesn’t seem to exist, not only for Sanderson, but many Indigenous prisoners stuck in jails. 

“I heard directly from another inquest I was part of; the warden had told me they were not a Healing Lodge. They were not a mental health facility, but a prison. He said we are not like a treatment centre. We are a prison.” 

At that time, Beaudin knew Canada’s jail system did not have the resources or capacity for psychologists, clinical social workers, and counsellors. But he noted his disappointment in Correctional Service Canada and how it handles Indigenous Peoples.  

“I was disappointed Commissioner Anne Kelly didn’t show up to Sanderson’s inquest. She wasn’t there at all. There’s no way the jury will understand how complicated the system is. They didn’t even know the answers.” 

Beaudin also explained they would ask for “numbers of Indigenous federally incarcerated in Canada,” which they should have known all along. In the end, he said many Indigenous prisoners were neglected, especially their cases. 

Beaudin also cited the story of a man who was convicted at the age of 16 years after a fatal stabbing. He was a gang member then who spent most of his life in prison. Beaudin said the boy was sent to solitary confinement until he was 18 years old. There was “no human contact. Nothing.” In fact, he’s still in jail today, Beaudin told the Pioneer.

For more news about the case, read:

When Beaudin talked to the young prisoner years ago, the inmate said that no parole was offered. He apologized and said he “did not mean to kill that guy.” Beaudin suspected that the system looked at the stereotypes of the young inmate who was shrouded in discrimination and racial bias.

Beaudin continues to attend Sanderson’s inquiry and keeps in contact with the incarcerated inmate. The issue has prompted him to help more Indigenous Peoples who have fallen through the cracks at Correctional Services Canada. Bottom photo of Kim Beaudin