The premier of the Northwest Territories condemned the “senseless violence” in Fort Smith during a sitting of the Legislative Assembly Mar. 7.

“Over the last three days, the community of Fort Smith and its residents have been faced with a difficult and scary situation that has shaken their sense of safety to the core,” said Premier Caroline Cochrane.

A suspicious death in the community of 2,500 early Friday morning, Mar. 4, prompted both a community-wide lockdown and a multi-day RCMP investigation. A youth was arrested in the community on Sunday afternoon in connection with the death.

“On behalf of Cabinet and the Government of the Northwest Territories, I want to extend my sincerest and deepest condolences to the community of Fort Smith, and the family and friends of the resident who has tragically lost their life in this incident,” said Cochrane. “We will hold them in our hearts and honour them in our memory.

“We all know just how close-knit communities in the north can be; When tragedy like this strikes, it tears at the very fabric of what it means to be a Northerner.”

Thebacha MLA Frieda Martselos, whose district includes Fort Smith, also acknowledged the death in her member statement.

“The residents of Fort Smith have demonstrated great strength and courage during this difficult time,” she said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to my constituents, but especially the family of the deceased.”

“I know we are a strong and united community during times of crisis, and we always pull together and assist one another whenever we can.”

Cochrane said a 24-hour crisis line has been established for those affected by the death in Fort Smith, which residents can access at 867-872-0890.

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