Current Problems

Education (6-12)

Mounties investigate group attack on Métis boy at Cochrane school 

September 25, 2023

The Reconciliation Action Group claimed the boy was targeted for being a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and his mother’s outspoken advocacy on anti-racism matters 

St. Timothy Jr. and Sr. High School in Cochrane, Alta.
St. Timothy Jr. and Sr. High School in Cochrane, Alta. PHOTO BY LEAH HENNEL /Postmedia file

Police and school officials are investigating after a teenage Métis boy was injured in what a local advocacy group is calling a “hate-fuelled” attack at a Cochrane school last week.

The Reconciliation Action Group said the 13-year-old son of one of its members was swarmed and beaten by multiple older teenage boys at Cochrane’s St. Timothy Jr. and Sr. High School last Thursday, claiming the boy was targeted for being a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta and his mother’s outspoken advocacy on anti-racism matters.

“The victim is left bruised, battered, and sore with severe mental and emotional trauma that will remain with him for life. The family is traumatized by this hate-fuelled attack on their child and do not feel safe in their community,” said the group in a Monday news release.

The child’s parents took him to hospital and reported the incident to police.

“That’s something that Canadians don’t understand — when you have an interaction like this, the trauma is actually two-fold,” said Michelle Robinson, a member of the group. “It’s not just the actual attack but it’s trying to work within these systems that are meant to not help (Indigenous people).”

The Calgary Catholic School District said it was “deeply saddened” to learn about the attack.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this student for a quick recovery,” said the CCSD in a written statement.

“Student safety is a priority at CCSD schools, and all reports of inappropriate conduct are taken very seriously. The RCMP, as well as St. Timothy and CCSD administration, are currently investigating this isolated incident. Our process is comprehensive and includes thoroughly investigating all concerns, offering supports to students and families, applying progressive discipline procedures, and co-operating with community partners.”

An Alberta RCMP spokesperson said Cochrane Mounties received a report of the incident on Thursday afternoon after the alleged attack occurred.

An officer attended the school the next day and police say they continue to investigate the assault. Mounties confirmed the victim and suspects involved are all minors.

The Reconciliation Action Group is urging the public to demand that CCSD expel the students involved in the attack. The group is also calling for Mounties and prosecutors to investigate and seek charges against the perpetrators and wants CCSD to review the incident.

“It’s really unfortunate that it is the 2023 week of Truth and Reconciliation — to talk about education — and here we are,” said Robinson. “(The CCSD and RCMP are) reacting as opposed to mitigating and implementing policies that stop these types of behaviours from continuing.”

Author of the article:

Michael Rodriguez,

X: @MichaelRdrguez