April 16, 2012
I know that I am behind on updates about baby and my time in Ottawa however today’s events deserve to be written about sooner rather than later. Today is the last day of Spring Break for Richard but Lily was still headed to school to get in some playtime with ‘her kids’. Beckett was happily cuddled up with Richard so Lily and I got dressed and I took her to school. I hadn’t been home more than 30 minutes when I got a call from Kootoo the director of the Daycare telling us that they were in Lockdown. Richard and I are co-chairs of the Daycare Board of Directors so are involved in making decisions about closures and such. Richard was not happy with Lily being away from home where he could keep her safe. So he hopped on the snowmobile to go get her. Meanwhile Kootoo and I discussed whether it was safer to keep all the kids there off the roads or get their parents to come and get them. One of the other Board members was trying to get information from the police and so we’d wait to see what they said before calling parents. As Richard headed home he stopped on the hill outside our house to take a look at the house down the road where we heard someone was hiding. He got honked at and waved on by the dump truck driver who was parked blocking the entrance to the circle road we live on. Richard zipped home and came inside. He brought with him our neighbour and her son Benjamin who had also been at daycare. We invited Ben in for a play since they were not at school. The kids had a great time. Meanwhile we got a little more information. Apparently this morning a man stabbed a teenager and the boy died. If it is who we think it is Richard knows the boy and he was part of Richard’s drum club. The man came up to our road and barricaded himself in his cousin’s house which is at the end of the road. The police were on scene but nothing seemed to be happening. Just before lunch we got word that both stores had been closed and I called the police station to confirm. The woman I spoke to confirmed the stores were closed, confirmed there was a standoff in the 2300 block (our road), and agreed that it would be safer to close the daycare and get the children home while things were calm. Nothing changing, nothing changing. So we just stayed inside, ate lunch and put Lily to bed for a nap. We have had the blinds closed all day but I caught sight of movement out the window. I went to peek and saw a pickup truck full of SWAT guys pull up in front of my house. Crazy!! For over 4 hours we waited hoping things would be safely resolved as we watched the policemen move across the snow towards the house. And then it was over. Since we can’t see the front door we didn’t see how they went in but we saw the man in handcuffs being put into the RCMP truck. I heard he surrendered. Later we saw the police dog searching the hillside. Lily said she wished she was a police so she could work with the dog!
All of this leads us to again question what we are doing here. There are lots of good things about Cape Dorset but the violence is hard to take as in such a small town we are all affected. We should not have to explain to our 4 year old why someone was murdered, why it is not safe to go outside, be near the windows or why men with machine guns are standing outside our house.
The boy who died was a student at Richard’s school and a member of his drum club. School still opened on Tuesday. There was no support offered to the staff or students. They were just expected to carry on as if nothing had happened. The language also poses a problem as the staff are not able to understand what the students are saying to process things or if they are in trouble. There has got to be a better way.Margot