Police on the Tsuut’ina First Nation west of Calgary have filed warrants for the arrest of Nathan Chasing Horse.
On Wednesday, Chasing Horse was arrested by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) on six sexual assault and sexual trafficking charges involving children and adults.
“We have spoken to several victims and several witnesses have come forward in relation to the actions of Mr. Chasing Horse,” Sgt. Nancy Farmer of the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service said Tuesday.
“This is a multi-jurisdictional investigation with a lot of moving parts.”
Read more: ‘Dances with Wolves’ actor facing multiple U.S. charges now accused of sexual assault in small B.C. community
Tsuut’ina police have been cooperating with LVMPD, RCMP, Calgary Police Service, Crown prosecutors offices in Alberta and B.C., U.S. district attorneys and the Fort Peck Tribes department of law and justice, located in northeast Montana.
Farmer said Tsuut’ina, Fort Peck and Saskatchewan First Nations issued band council resolutions (BCR) in 2015, barring Chasing Horse from entering their lands for community events like spiritual practices, powwows and ceremonies.
“A BCR is the wish of chief and council to maintain peace and order by controlling the access – in our case, to Tsuut’ina lands – and specifically access to those people and persons that cause disruption, distress or fear to nation citizens that threaten the peace, security and well-being of our community,” Farmer said.
Farmer said Tsuut’ina police went back “several years” to make sure they hadn’t missed anything that could be connected to sexual assaults, but encouraged anyone who may have felt ignored in past sexual assault investigations to come forward.
“We don’t want our victims to be further victimized by being ignored.”
She said the trauma that results from sexual assault can lead victims to delay reporting it.
“It’s not easy to be the first one to step up and say ‘this happened to me,'” Farmer said.
“You have to understand that what happened to these women is kind of all a part of ceremony, traditional ceremony, where they put their trust into someone who deemed himself to be a medicine man and then were betrayed.
“So how do you now come forward when this is a ceremonial piece of your life, of your culture, and stand up in front of everyone to say that this happened? It’s very, very difficult.”
In the LVMPD arrest report, victim interviews told of Chasing Horse using behaviour “consistent with grooming behaviors” “to develop a bond between (the victim) and Nathan Chasing Horse, ultimately, making (the victim) more receptive to sexual activity with him.” Multiple victims in that report recall first meeting Chasing Horse while underage and they allege being sexually abused by him while under 16 years of age, often in a purportedly ceremonial setting.
The victim interviews done by LVMPD characterized Chasing Horse as the leader of a group called “The Circle” which some described as a “cult.”
The claims made in the arrest report have not yet been tested in court.
According to B.C. court documents, last week another count of sexual assault was added to Chasing Horse’s alleged crimes. RCMP told Global News an unendorsed warrant for his arrest was issued last week.
Farmer told reporters Tsuut’ina officials hope to file local charges, including alleged sexual assault, by the end of the week.
“We are finding that some victims have been victimized within that area in the United States, and there may be some crossover with those victims that are coming forward here,” Farmer said.
“I believe that there are assaults that have happened in Canada, and I believe there are going to be more victims that are going to come forward. Definitely.”
The 46-year-old Chasing Horse remains behind bars in the U.S. after being formally charged Monday in North Las Vegas with counts including sex trafficking, sexual assault against a child younger than 16, and child abuse.
The U.S. charges against Chasing Horse show the allegations date back to 2012 and relate to a period when he was working in the United States and in Canada as a “medicine man.”
Chasing Horse played the role of Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in Kevin Costner’s Academy Award-winning 1990 film Dances with Wolves.
He was born on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, which is home to the Sicangu Sioux, one of the seven tribes of the Lakota Nation.
– with files from Global News’ Kathy Michaels, Taya Fast, Sarah Do Couto and Paula Tran, and The Canadian Press
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