The admission in June by the new chief of the Saskatoon Police Service that an officer was disciplined in 1976 for taking a Native woman to the outskirts of the city and abandoning her there has increased the intensity of the spotlight on the embattled police force.
After two Saskatoon police officers were convicted forcible confinement after dropping Darrell Night outside of town on a frigid January night in 2000, the force insisted the incident was isolated. But now Chief Russell Sabo admits that, in fact, there was this other occasion, and there is a possibility that the force has been dumping Native people outside the city for years.
The provincial government has called a public inquiry to begin in autumn into the death of 17-year-old Neil Stonechild, whose frozen body was found north of the city in 1990. A witness has said Stonechild was seen in the back of a police cruiser the night he went missing.
Lawrence Wagner, a 30-year-old Cree man, was found frozen to death in 2000 near the Saskatoon dump. His family believes his death to be suspicious. Rodney Naistus-another Aboriginal man-was found frozen in the snow five days earlier.