University update on the tragedy at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon

In the aftermath of this past weekend’s tragic violence at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, the university continues to carefully monitor the developing situation.

As stated in yesterday’s statement, some large gatherings were postponed for reasons of safety and out of respect for those affected by the tragedy.

Postponed gatherings, including the USSU Welcome celebration will proceed beginning Wednesday, September 7. Organizers of events are asked to open with the following acknowledgement of recent circumstances as follows:

"The University of Saskatchewan mourns the tragic events at James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, and offers its deep condolences to all those affected in this time of grieving. The university community members are reaching out to students, staff, and faculty with connections to James Smith Cree Nation to offer support.

During this critical time, the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre is serving will as a safe gathering space for the campus community. We are working to ensure services are available through the Elders and wellness staff.

It is important to come together and support one another and the community in a moment of silence for James Smith Cree Nation. (30-60 seconds of silence)"

The Homecoming events planned for September 9, will proceed, but will do so with increased security presence and safety measures. 

As we continue to mourn the losses and think about the affected parties, know that there are many supports available to you. You are encouraged to access these services during these difficult times.

Student Support

  • Student Affairs and Outreach has a team of social workers who can provide immediate support. You can speak with a member of the team by calling (306) 966-5757 or emailing and requesting to speak with an outreach co-ordinator.
  • The Student Wellness Centre offers a range of supports including physical and mental health care. To make an appointment, call (306) 966-5768
  • Aboriginal Student Centre (ASC) supports Indigenous student academic and personal success through a wide variety of programs and services including social and cultural programing (including Elder support), health and wellness, academic support, and recognition events.  The ASC can be reached at 306-966-5790 or email at

Faculty and Staff Support

  • LifeWorks, USask’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, offers a wide range of services including free and confidential counseling, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • MindBeacon offers virtual mental health support.
  • For eligible employees, your benefit plan covers mental health supports including clinical counsellors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers.

Beginning this morning, the Gordon Oakes Red Bear Student Centre began to serve as a safe gathering space for members of the campus community, during the critical days ahead. We are offering culturally appropriate services through Elders and wellness staff. Food and refreshments will also be available. Everyone is welcome. 

Please look after yourself, and support those around you as you are able. Share information about available supports with anyone you think could benefit from these wellness services.

Please use extra caution, and always be aware of your surroundings while on campus. Additional security patrols have been mobilized throughout campus as this incident is being addressed by RCMP and local law enforcement. Please think carefully about being alone in a space on campus for work or study purposes. Consider making use of spaces like the libraries on campus where several people are gathered. Remember that Protective Services is available 24/7 if you would like to request a walk to assist you in reaching your parked car or some other location on campus. Call (306) 966-5555 to make this request. If there are further updates, we will provide them as they are available.