There were plenty of news stories to choose from in 2022 as Global News counts down the top five Saskatchewan stories of the year. Here they are:
5. Ukrainian Relief Response
A memorandum of understanding was signed this year by Saskatchewan, in partnership with Open Arms and Solitaire, to bring five humanitarian flights and over 1, 000 Ukrainians to the province by the end of March 2023.
Since then, four of the five promised humanitarian flights have been completed, bringing approximately 3,000 refugees to the Saskatchewan cities.
“In true Saskatchewan fashion, Ukrainians have been met with kindness in this province. They’ve been met with support and compassion when they arrive here,” said Premier Scott Moe.
The Saskatchewan Government has dedicated hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist the refugees with housing, employment, and basic care.
4. Months-long search for Frank Young
Five-year-old Frank Young was last seen outside his home on Red Earth Cree Nation on the afternoon of April 19.
Red Earth Cree Ntion is located more than 200 kilometres east of Prince Albert, Sask.
The search covered approximately 92 square kilometres with 611 searchers and ended 81 days later, when the boy was found deceased in a river.
3. Dawn Walker search and child abduction allegations
A Saskatoon mother and her seven-year-old son disappeared July 22, 2022.
They were found alive and well in Oregon City, Oregon after investigators say the pair illegally entered the United States with fake identities and forged documents.
Dawn Walker, the mother, has been accused of faking her own death and abducting her son.
“I am fighting systems that continuously fail to protect me as an Indigenous woman and protect non-Indigenous men,” Walker said in a statement.
Walker made her way back to Canada in September to attend court and face her charges.
The investigation is ongoing.
2. Qualified Independent School Investigation
Former students of a government-funded, church-run school are calling for change after alleging abuse and mistreatment during their years of attendance.
The topic of qualified independent schools (QIS) has been an ongoing discussion in Saskatchewan after historical abuse claims and a lawsuit that has yet to be tested in court came out against what is now known as Legacy Christian Academy in Saskatoon.
“I almost took my life and knowing how these churches are so isolated and cultish that there is no support for anyone who is going through what I’ve gone through that the only solution in my mind is to shut them down,” Cody Hamilton claimed, a former student of Prairie Christian Academy, another QIS in Saskatoon.
Hamilton participated in several interviews with Global News, sharing that he was taught that being gay was a sin and claimed there were not enough mental health supports offered to him when he was growing up.
He said he remembers vividly being told gay people would go to hell.
“And if it wasn’t for the fear of hell instilled in me by the church and kind of what came afterwards, I probably would have killed myself.”
The Saskatchewan Education Minister has since stated that there may have been an oversight gap at church-run schools.
1. James Smith Cree Nation Stabbings
Saskatchewan experienced one of the worst mass killings in the history of Canada on Sept. 4, 2022.
Myles and Damien Sanderson of James Smith Cree Nation were those originally accused of the mass murder, killing ten people and injuring 18 on James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby village of Weldon.
Damien Sanderson was found dead later in James Smith Cree Nation where the other killings took place.
Myles Sanderson was arrested Sept. 7 after an intense four-day manhunt and was later pronounced dead in hospital.
More than a month after the string of attacks, Damien Sanderson was no longer named one of the murderers, but another victim of his brother’s actions, bringing the total slain in the killings to 11.