This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

"I didn't know what was going on ... I thought the kids were just playing around or something, like a locker slamming and stuff."
Norma Janvier, school coordinator, La Loche Community School

"My nephew doesn't know why. He doesn't understand why a quiet person, who was so happy, would do something so horrible."
Anonymous community member

"Right now, La Loche is devastated. Both Clearwater and La Loche, a lot of people are in shock. This is something that you only see on TV most of the time."
Clearwater River Dene Nation Chief Teddy Clark
RCMP are on the scene after a school shooting at La Loche Community School on Friday, January 22nd, 2016.
RCMP on the scene after a school shooting at La Loche Community School on 
Jan. 22, 2016. Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Because of the youth-protective nature of the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act the identity of the shooter at the "Dene Building", reserved for grades 7 to 12 at the La Loche Community School in the town of 3000 residents, has not been divulged. A little bit of fantasy, since he is known to have shot to death his two cousins, 13-year-old Drayden and 17-year-old Dayne Fontaine. Their 17-year-old friend and family member shot them at their home.

And then he went on to the school to shoot two teachers, one herself a former student at the school, 23-year-old Marie Janvier, and 32-year-old Adam Wood, only several months on the job at La Loche who had taken a teaching position there, moving from his hometown of Uxbridge, Ontario. One town resident speaking later to reporters said: "You only see this stuff happening out there -- you don't think of it happening in a small town".

Actually, it's likely enough that this is the kind of thing that will happen in a small town. When that town is inhabited by a people sharing a past, a present and a future, all troubled. When, like most towns or reserves on which First Nations live, a profoundly troubling dysfunction jars the very prospect of normalcy because so many teens commit suicide, and drug- and alcohol- dependence is high, along with the crime rate.

The aunt of a coeval of the 17-year-old shooter who professes puzzlement that a happy, normal boy could become a killing psychopath obviously discounts a shadowy world she is not familiar with, where an undercurrent of the forbidden and the dark thrills to be shared are posted on social networking sites. The boy now in custody for the murder of four people and for injuring another seven had messaged his friends: "Just killed 2 ppl. Bout to shoot ip [sic] the school."

There is a chilling remoteness about the conveying of such a message where two cousins as close as brothers become emotionally disengaged "ppl", and the intention to continue the killing spree is expressed in the intention to "shoot up the school". In remote towns and reserves where people lead lives of quiet desperation expressing their fears and rage in violence, what is normal?

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joshua Mercredi    Officials stand outside of La Loche Community School after a deadly multiple-shooting on Friday Jan. 22, 2016.
Newspaper accounts of the tragedy point out that La Loche has struggled with a suicide epidemic expressed in an annual rate of suicide in the Keewatin Yatthe Regional Health Authority that encompasses the town and others alongside it averaging 43.4 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people; triple the provincial average.

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